Mark’s friends said they were not surprised he had raped his girlfriend, since he learned from his uncle that ‘’when women say no, what they really mean is yes’’, he had been boasting that he will have sex with his girlfriend of two months who kept saying she wasn’t ready for sex. Mark’s parents however never saw it coming. Their own son to be jailed and subsequently deported for rape? He didn’t fit the profile of rapists they had in mind; he is their young promising son, who came back home to a loving family every day!
When we hear about rape cases, it’s often easy to think of the rapists as some masked men lurking around in the bush, while this can be true, it is not always the case. A rapist can also be somebody’s innocent looking son, nephew, brother, husband or even father, who lives in a home with his unsuspecting family.
Crime can never be eradicated, but it can be significantly reduced, and sometimes individuals can also take some measures to protect themselves from being the victim or perpetrators of these crimes. While it is important to teach our daughters how to protect themselves from being victims, it is also important to teach our sons not to be perpetrators of this crime.
Teaching women how to be watchful and protect themselves against rapists might have saved many women from being raped, but I also believe that when parents take time to teach their boys not to rape, it will also significantly reduce the number of rape cases.
Take a quick survey of the men around you, you will be surprised that majority of them were never told by their parents about the dangers of rape. Take a quick survey of the women around you and it’s the opposite.
We need to talk to our sons about rape. We need to let them know we expect much from them, discipline and respect for women among many other things. We need to let them know that rape destroys both the victim and the perpetrators! We need to let them know that when a woman says no, they should respect her choice and never assume she means yes. We owe our sons this.
Writer – Shola Okubote
picture: terry vine/getty images