As gender-based violence appears to be on the rise in the country, particularly the rape of minors, experts have blamed the trend on several factors including the psychological state of mind of predators attracting them to the weak and vulnerable, ineptitude to initiate social relationships with adults, among others.
Among those who highlighted why cases of raping minors have been on the increase are Mr Akin Gabriel, a clinical psychologist and a sociologist, Mr Bola Nuga.
Speaking with Sunday New Telegraph, Gabriel said in some people who have problems of social interaction, demonstrating shyness in relating with the opposite sex, the abnormality of the COVID-19 situation makes it difficult for them to be able to find solution to those peculiarities.
“For instance,” he said before the COVID-19 situation, “individuals who have difficulty relating with people either as a result of shyness, used to go out and patronise professional commercial sex workers to satisfy their sexual desires. “Hence their sexual orgies and desires would be taken care of by these professionals.”
However, with the arrival of COVID-19, Gabriel said the operation of most hotels and brothels that harbour these professionals became adversely affected, hence, such individuals are no longer able to visit these professionals and ‘off-load’ their sexual orgies.
“Of course, these desires are still there and they are unable to go about the normal way of taking care of this desire by discussing, chatting and going through other social procedures to maintain social relationships.
“Therefore they want to go by way of the ‘least resistance’ where they will not have any restriction or denial and whether the targeted person likes it or not they will have their way.”
Gabriel said they often go this way because they are incapable to initiate and establish social relationships: they cannot toast; they cannot woo; they cannot talk; and they cannot engage the opposite sex socially. “All they do is to target mostly minors and kids that are incapable to resist them, grab them and satisfy their sexual urge.
“As far as the predators that target minors are concerned, they don’t need to talk to the children; they don’t need to woo them; they don’t need to negotiate anything, they just grab them because they are incapable to negotiate socially with adults.”
He said the profile of most of the sexual oppressors that rape children show they are inadequate in negotiating social process.
On his part, Nuga said many cases of rape including those involving minors have always been recorded in the country but it is gaining wider reportage from the new media; social and traditional media have brought the issues of rape to the front-burner.
“Rape of both adults and minors is not new. It has been on for so long; it is just gaining attention due to widespread use of telephones,
WhatsApp, among others.” Citing some of the factors driving the trend, Nuga said some people are unable to control their sexual desires, irrespective of who is around whether an adult or a minor.
Similarly, Nuga explained that some oppressive individuals have psychological problems and unable to reason appropriately and responsibly. For this group, he said whatever is the age of the target did not matter; as long as the target has a vagina, such predators will have their way, even if means raping minor victims.
Speaking further on other factors responsible for rising rape of minors, Nuga said some individuals have been sexually denied.
“Hence, such a man or woman will be looking for where to express his or her sexual desires; so, they lure small girls or boys, give them Coca-Cola and money and consequently express their sexual urge.”
Similarly, he explained that the culture of closeness with neighbours and relations whom they often call ‘uncles’ and ‘daddies’ was another factor.
This, according to Nuga warrants girls and minors to trust those relations and neighbours and consequently become exposed to the predators.
On how to address the situation, Nuga called for the breaking down of the traditional system of ‘blind truth’ for neighbours and relations, which paves the way for predators to sexually abuse minors.
He said: “Parents and guardians must sensitise children about amorous touch, sexual advances and illicit sex from anyone, teaching children to always report such to their parents.”