Investigation Of The Mental And Health Effect Of Rape On A Girl Child
This study was carried out to examine the mental and health effect of rape on a girl child using Choba, Portharcourt metropolis as a case study. The study was specifically carried out to ascertain the prevalence of rape on a girl child in Nigeria, find out the mental effect of rape on a girl child in Nigeria, and find out the health effect of rape on a girl child in Nigeria. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprise of health-care workers Choba, Portharcourt metropolis. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 57 respondents and 50 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables, and mean scores. While the hypotheses were tested using Chi-square statistical tool. The result of the findings reveals that the prevalence of rape on a girl child in Nigeria is high. The study also revealed that the mental effect of rape on a girl child in Nigeria includes: anguish, anxiety, fear, emotional trauma , depression, and stigmatization. Therefore, it is recommended that for the fight against rape to be won, every perpetrator of rape should be exposed and made to take full responsibility for his or her actions. Under no circumstance should such a one be shielded or protected by parents, teachers, religious institutions, non-governmental organizations, governments or the media. All Nigerians must rise up in condemnation of this social epidemic. To mention but a few.
Table of Content
- Title Page
- Table of Content
- List of Tables
- 1.1 Background of the Study
- 1.2 Statement of the Problem
- 1.3 Objective of the Study
- 1.4 Research Questions
- 1.5 Research Hypothesis
- 1.6 Significance of the Study
- 1.7 Scope of the Study
- 1.8 Limitation of the Study
- 1.9 Definition of Terms
- 1.10 Organisations of the Study
Review of Literature
- 2.1 Conceptual Framework
- 2.2 Theoretical Framework
- 2.3 Empirical Review
- 3.1 Research Design
- 3.2 Population of the Study
- 3.3 Sample Size Determination
- 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
- 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
- 3.6 Method of Data Collection
- 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
- 3.8 Validity of the Study
- 3.9 Reliability of the Study
- 3.10 Ethical Consideration
Data Presentation and Analysis
- 4.1 Data Presentation
- 4.2 Analysis of Data
- 4.3 Answering Research Questions
- 4.4 Test of Hypotheses
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
- 5.1 Summary
- 5.2 Conclusion
- 5.3 Recommendation
1.1 Background of the Study
Nigeria has increasingly recorded an upsurge in the number of gender-based violence, especially rape and girl child defilement recently (UNICEF, 2020). For example, according to RAINN (2020), an American anti-sexual violence organization reports that over 12 million girls in Nigeria have been raped between 2010 through 2019. The United Nations Children’s Fund (2020) reported that one in four boys and one in 10 girls under 18 years are victims of sexual violence. According to UNICEF and WHO (2020), Nigeria is said to be trailing India, as the most dangerous place for women of all ages to live in.
The term rape is described as unlawful sexual activity, most commonly involving sexual intercourse, carried out against the victim’s will by force or threat of force, or with a person who is unable to give legal consent due to minor status, mental disorder, mental disability, intoxication, unconsciousness, or deceit. The crime of rape has been merged with the crime of sexual harassment in many jurisdictions. Rape was once thought to be the product of unrestrained sexual desire, but it is now recognized as a pathological demonstration of authority over a victim.since the late twentieth century, the legal concept of rape has evolved significantly. Rape, according to the conventional definition, was an act of sexual intercourse between a man and a woman against her will, regardless of gender or age. A rapist or victim may now be an adult of either gender or a child, according to current understanding of rape. While rape may happen in same-sex relationships, it is most commonly committed by a man against a woman. There is also a growing trend to label any act of sexual intercourse between a husband and his wife against her will as rape, as well as forced prostitution and sexual slavery. Rape is sometimes clarified or excused as a result of racial, ethnic, or class hatred, or as a result of a patriarchal society in which women are seen as men’s property. Rape is a serious crime that is regarded as a felony in most countries with common-law systems, regardless of its source. In certain rape cases, the accused’s guilt or innocence is determined by whether or not the victim consented to sexual contact. In certain cases, determining consent will lead to emotionally draining cross-examinations of rape victims in court. As a result, many rape victims choose not to report the incident to the authorities or to press charges against their attackers. And when brought to trial, those accused of rape have a higher-than-average rate of acquittal, owing to the difficulty of proving a crime with no third-party evidence and the fact that women’s testimony is often given less weight than men’s. As a result, rape is both underreported and underpunished. Many jurisdictions have enacted rape shield laws, which restrict the right of the defendant’s attorney to use the accuser’s sexual background as evidence, in order to protect women from degrading cross-examination. Rapists’ psychological motives are more nuanced than previously believed. They may involve the urge to punish, exact vengeance, inflict pain, demonstrate sexual prowess, or exert power through fear.
In Nigeria, ugly scenario often floods the nation and the Nigerian media, particularly the print media, are daily becoming awash with catalogue of incidents and stories of girls being not just sexually molested and abused but most wickedly descended on and raped without scruples leaving this poor victims wallowing in both health and mental trauma without urgent remedies even in the face of apparent enabling laws against such dastardly and inhuman crimes. There is no age limit to this barbaric act, even as tribe, colour or class are irrelevant with this heinous crime even though the list of rape victims in Nigeria is endless, it will be difficult to compile a list of those who have had to deal with this menace in the country. This is because statistical reports on rape cases over the years have been inaccurate as most incidents go unreported due to fear of stigmatization and lack of follow-through investigations by law enforcement agents and agencies. These mindless cases of rape as have been reported in the Nigerian media, particularly newspapers. For instance, in June, 2020 Nigeria declared a state of emergency on rape and sexual violence in all 36 Nigerian states. Earlier that month, activists from women-led groups marched and sent a memo to Nigeria’s House of Representatives, demanding Nigeria adopt and properly implement the 2015 Violence Against Prohibition Person’s Act (VAPP). This was triggered by brutal rape cases reported in May and June 2020: Barakat Bello was raped and killed in her home; Vera Uwa Omozuwa, a student of University of Benin was killed in her church in Benin City, southern Nigeria; and a 12-year-old girl was raped by 11 men in Jigawa, northern Nigeria among others (Daily Sun Newspaper, Thursday 18th May 2020).
Studies (Kayode, 2019, UNDP, 2019, NAPTIP, 2020 & UNICEF, 2020) have reported that in the United Kingdom, there are about 147,000 rape cases every year and only a thousand plus are convicted. The trend is the same in India, where in every 20 minutes, a case of rape is reported and only less than 25% of these cases are persecuted. In Lagos state, western Nigeria, about 78,079 cases, which constitute only 68% of the rape that, occurred between 2019 and 2020 (Peters & Olowa, 2020; Caroline, 2019). An NGO (Mirabel centre), (2020) reported 170 rape cases between July 2019 and July 2020. In addition, reporting a high rise in rape cases, the police command identified gang rape as the most common, as it was at the top of the crime chat in 2020.
Further, over the years, there has been an upsurge in the number of rape related cases in the Nigerian society (Agaba, 2019) and situation appears to be increasing in astronomical proportion as days roll by (Okunzua, 2020). This has created palpable worries in the minds of many. Some of these sexual assaults and rapes are according to Ifeacho (2019) either reported or intentionally “buried” by the victims or their parents or relations for fear of stigmatization while some few others are reported by the media. Therefore, it is against this upward rape trajectory that this study seeks to investigate the mental and health effect of rape on a girl child
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The extent of psychological distress varies from person to person; many people experience the effects for years, even with extensive supportive therapy. Many psychologists consider rape as a form of torture. A permanent mutilation of an individual’s life due to the significant mental and health damage it causes. In addition to the mental and health consequences of rape, victims of rape in certain cultures risk ostracism or even death at the hands of relatives who want to keep their family’s honor (victims of abduction without rape may be treated in the same way).Victims of rape have a variety of psychological responses, but they typically involve feelings of guilt, embarrassment, confusion, anxiety, and anger. Victims also describe a pervasive sense of defilement, an inability to feel clean, an intense sense of weakness, and a paralyzing sense of powerlessness over their lives. Many people are terrified of returning to the scene of the crime, of being tracked, and of all sexual relationships. In traditional cultures, a husband will often refuse or abandon his wife after she has been raped, either by repudiation or divorce, or by leaving home for increasingly long periods of time. When the husband stays, he often neglects, isolates, or mistreats his wife (especially by refusing to have sex with her). A raped spouse may be barred from the conjugal bed or prohibited from preparing meals for her husband in some cultures. A rape victim’s husband will often take a second wife in countries where polygamy is practiced. If the woman becomes pregnant as a result of rape, the chances of being rejected or divorced increases. Rape victims may be unable to care for or meet the needs of their children for a variety of reasons, including physical (long convalescence from injuries suffered, disability caused by the rape, etc. ), psychological (trauma, psychiatric depression, psychotic delirium and cultural (in some cultures, rape victims are not permitted to nurse or cook food for their children). And when they are permitted to carry out their parental responsibilities, they often become irritable or abusive toward their children. Sexual abuse may have a negative impact on a victim’s mental health, with short, medium, and long-term repercussions. The victim may exhibit a wide range of physical, mental, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms in the hours and days following the incident. Despite the fact that they might be disturbing or strange, the majority of these symptoms are considered natural or at the very least anticipated responses to a traumatic and severe case. They can be difficult to deal with for the victim and her family or friends.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of the study is to examine investigation of the mental and health effect of rape on a girl child.
Specifically, the study sought to:
- Ascertain the prevalence of rape on a girl child in Nigeria.
- Find out the mental effect of rape on a girl child in Nigeria.
- Find out the health effect of rape on a girl child in Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
These research questions will be answered in this study:
- What is the prevalence of rape on a girl child in Nigeria?
- What are the mental effect of rape on a girl child in Nigeria?
- What are the health effect of rape on a girl child in Nigeria?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
- Ho: The prevalence of rape on a girl child in Nigeria is low.
- Ha: The prevalence of rape on a girl child in Nigeria is high.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study will be significant to parents, civil societies, international bodies, law makers and judiciary. To parent it will enlighten them on the need to build a strong, healthy and open relationship with their children. To Civil Societies and NGO’s it will enable them to initiates elaborate campaigns against rape and rapist. To Legislator and Judiciary it will enlighten them on the need of upgrading the existing obsolete laws so as to ensure better protection of rape victims. it will enable the international community including united nations on the need to encourage Nigeria to fully implement regional treaties, declarations and resolutions prohibiting all acts of violence against women. finally the study will contribute to the general body of knowledge, serving as a reference material for other researchers and giving room for further studies in related field.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study generally focus on investigating the mental and health effect of rape on a girl child. Specifically the study will ascertain the prevalence of rape on a girl child in Nigeria, find out the mental effect of rape on a girl child in Nigeria, and find out the health effect of rape on a girl child in Nigeria.
1.8 Limitations of the Study
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing to the nature of the discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. More so, the choice of the sample size was limited as few respondent were selected to answer the research instrument hence cannot be generalize to other secondary schools. However, despite the constraint encountered during the research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.
1.9 Definition of Terms
Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration carried out against a person without that person’s consent
Also referred to as abuse, is abusive sexual behavior by one person upon another. It is often perpetrated using force or by taking advantage of another
Mental health, defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), is “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”.
1.10 Organization of the Study
The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, and selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.
Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:
This chapter summarizes the findings on the mental and health effect of rape on a girl child using Choba, Portharcourt metropolis as a case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.
5.2 Summary of the Study
In this study, our focus was to examine the mental and health effect of rape on a girl child using Choba, Portharcourt metropolis as a case study. The study was specifically focus to ascertain the prevalence of rape on a girl child in Nigeria, find out the mental effect of rape on a girl child in Nigeria, and find out the health effect of rape on a girl child in Nigeria.
The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 50 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are health-care workers Choba, Portharcourt metropolis.
In the light of the analysis carried out, the following conclusions were drawn.
- The prevalence of rape on a girl child in Nigeria is high.
- The mental effect of rape on a girl child in Nigeria includes: anguish, anxiety, fear, emotional trauma , depression, and stigmatization.
- The health effect of rape on a girl child in Nigeria includes: somatic illnesses, hypertension, sleep disorders, vulnerability to sexually transmitted diseases, and genital warts.
Based on the findings the researcher recommends that;
- Teachers are role models to pupils and adolescents in Nigerian schools, so it is beneficial for all schools through the teachers to keep re-orientating and re-educating the pupils and students on the importance of speaking out whenever they are being sexually abused or raped so that the perpetrators can get the fair share of their evil act. This will serve as deterrent to other potential rapists in the society.
- Parents should build a strong, healthy and open relationship with their children and be very vigilant. They should closely observe their children for any sign of vulnerability or abuse. Parents should also know the right time and place to discuss sex related issues with their children and get to know the company they keep. In addition, parents girl-child on the dangers of rape and places to go to so that they are not caught up in this menace. They should also be careful about entrusting their children in the hands of persons they do not know or trust very well. Parents should ensure that the girl-child put on clothes that do not expose essential parts of their bodies.
- Civil Societies and NGOs should initiate elaborate enlightenment campaigns against rape and rapists. They should exhibit zero-tolerance to rape by engaging in rape intolerance attitudes and as well as dispelling sex myths in Nigeria using the media.
- For the fight against rape to be won, every perpetrator of rape should be exposed and made to take full responsibility for his or her actions. Under no circumstance should such a one be shielded or protected by parents, teachers, religious institutions, non-governmental organizations, governments or the media. All Nigerians must rise up in condemnation of this social epidemic.
- All rape victims should be shown much love and care to reengineer their self-esteem. The legislature, state ministries, women groups and the Federal Government should take up these cases and offer all necessary assistance to the victims.
- The international community, including the United Nations and African Union should encourage and support Nigeria in implementing fully all international and regional treaties, declarations, resolutions and recommendations aimed at condemning, prohibiting and preventing all acts of violence against women. All cases of violence must be investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice in accordance with international standards of fair trial and without recourse to death penalty, and reparations provided the victims. They should also support and encourage initiatives by the Nigerian authorities, women’s groups and Human rights organizations in their fight against the rape scourge and other forms of violence against women in Nigeria.
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