THE AFTERTASTE OF GENDER BASED VIOLENCE
“Na pikin, she no go remember” has caused more damage than good. The above statement, as widely used as it is, shows that the society has joined hands with ignorance to downplay the effects of Gender based Violence on its victims.
Research has showed that many adults link their current trauma to childhood incidences. What this means for the community in general is that the behavior of the young woman/man currently occupying the role of a customer care in a prestigious bank or any other role in any other career is simply a reflection of the childhood victories and or traumas that they had undergone.
While the earlier study may be worthy of note, the current economic positioning of the country at the moment has classed many families to prefer ‘settlement’ of Rape cases rather than prosecution. While the monies paid under the table to keep the victim silent may help to provide feeding and short term necessaries for the victims family to offset medical bills and such, the long term effect cannot be ignored.
The monies for settlement may cover the fees for the victims WAEC but it cannot fix the victims mental health for a successful examination. It may pay the medical bills but it does not reverse the damage done to the productive organs. A recent case of this nature was handled by FIDA Bayelsa, in this case, the victims family had earlier reported the matter.
To that effect, FIDA Bayelsa sent petition to the police and an arrest was about to be effected. The victims family came forward asking for the matter to be ignored on the grounds that settlement had been made. What were the amount for settlement? A large bowl of Garri and another large bowl of Rice.
This was not the most astounding fact of the matter. What was more incredulous about the case was that, the perpetrator a matured man of about 40 had raped the 2 year old girl and her productive organs were on the verge of rotting. Regardless of this reality, the family preferred to settle, why? Because of their economic state.
Asides the mental destruction of victims and the reproductive damage that Gender Based Violence causes, there are other consequences to consider, such as depression and death. There are studies showing how Gender based Violence can throw victims into depression and as a result, suicide.
The shame associated with the event can most times be overwhelming that the victims decide to end their lives and stop the accusatory glances that comes along with the event. Even though most victims are young children and have no hand in the event of those destabilizing events, the society still blames them for being available. The result of this blame most times pushes them to the brink.
Of a truth, the aftertaste of Gender based Violence leaves a sour smart in the mouth of the community at large. However, the masses would continue to consume this sour fruit until something is done about the economy at large and more resources are moved to the betterment of victims and their families.