Perceived Psychosocial Effects Of Rape On The Emotional Stability Of Victims At Ogbomoso South Local Government, Oyo State
Rape is a pervasive social problem globally and also one of the most traumatic experiences, causing numerous long-term outcomes on the psychological and social realms of survivors. Ogbomoso south local government has been categorized among the most risky areas for women and children. According to the Police Service cases of rape in the Local government have been on the increase with 306 cases reported at the Ogbomoso south local government in 2017. Survivors of rape are exposed to long-term negative outcomes such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, sexual victimization and suicidality. The purpose of the study was to establish the psychosocial effects of rape, the study was guided by three objectives; to identify the prevalent types of rape in Ogbomoso south local government; to establish the psychosocial effects of rape and; to establish the interventions that may be taken to reduce rape cases and the subsequent effects in Ogbomoso south local government. The study adopted a descriptive survey research design. The target population comprised of 163 in which a sample of 30 survivors of rape and 5 respondents from the police officers and trauma counselors working in gender based violence unit and 15selected local community members comprising village elders, religious leaders and youth was drawn through the use of purposive sampling techniques. Primary data was gathered using self-administered questionnaires and face to face interviews in form of interview guide and focused group discussion. Data collected, was analyzed using descriptive statistics. The data was analyzed through the use of statistical package for social science (SPSS) to generate quantitative reports through tabulation, percentages, and measure of central tendency. While qualitative data was grouped according to thematic groupings. The findings revealed a prevalence of (53%) children rape and women rape (32%).The psychosocial effects of rape were; trauma (50%), humiliation (20%), and depression (15%). Based on the results the study recommended the intervention responses for rape as; training personnel working in gender based violence units in hospitals and police stations on trauma counseling; survivors of rape need to attend counseling session for prevention of psychosocial effects and Ogbomoso south local government to support the awareness campaigns against rape in Ogbomoso south local government and its environs. The study also recommended further study should also be undertaken on the perpetrators in order to determine what led to their behaviour in order to address the root cause of such behaviours.
1.1 Background of the Study
Rape is a sexual assault and criminal offense that is often happening all over the world through forcing a person into a sexual relation against a person’s will or consent (UN report on women, 2012). Rape can take many definitions from physical, psychological, sociological and even from legal aspects of different countries (Lawrence & Van Rensburg 2016). Rape is a human rights issue; social and public health all over the world (WHO, 2014).It is estimated that one in five women are raped in their lifetime as suggested by International statistics (Frazier &Burnett, 2014).
Rape is, a very severe crime, as it involves an embarrassing, humiliating and cruel attack of the solitude, self-respect, and person of the survivor. According to (Ross & Katz 2013) Rape is known as an unpredicted and interfering destruction, which on previously impacts on all scope of the survivor’s continuation, and eventually disrupts to some level one’s behavior of being in the earth. The abortions, unwanted pregnancies, and sexually transmitted diseases are the consequences of rape. The rape survivors may experience psychological and social problems (Buddie & Miller, 2011). The survivor is left with what appears to be a continuous fight to adjust back into society again. The privileges to the self-respect, confidentiality, and honesty of every person are fundamental to the culture of the formation and to any justifiable progress (Lawrence & Van Rensburg, 2016).
There appear to be differences between rape victims and society’s interpretation of the definitions of rape. Many debates concerning those who have been assaulted or raped to be referred as “victims” or as “survivors” have been discussed around the world. The study will refer to individuals who have been raped as survivors. In a national survey conducted in the United States of America, found that 14.8 percent of women over 17 years of age reported having been raped in their lifetime,( with an additional 2.8 percent having experienced attempted rape) while 0.3 percent of the sample had reported having been raped in the previous year (WHO, 2008).
Rape in the society can be clearly seen as a crime not only to the victims but the entire society. It traumatized the victim with great psychological pains and other likely venereal infections like sexual transmitted diseases (STD). This could lead to fear, panic, and nightmares on the victims. The consequence is so complex in that the society is prior to economic development and social wellbeing will be demoralized. For clarity, rape is seen as a common phenomenon against the female gender, as they are the most vulnerable. It should be noted here without any reservation that rape is an assault and a criminal offence because if not properly counseled such a victim might be mentally and psychological down.
Sexual assault has a devastating effect on victims’ social and physical health as survivors often experience rejection, stigmatization and even suicidal thoughts. Rape is a prevailing form of sexual assault; hence it is a criminal act of obtaining sexual consent or submission forcefully or by use of threat. In different places, rape is an ever present danger and the reality is not if, but when one will fall a victim (Ibekwe & Obiajulu, 2017). In India, Olupohunda (2013) argued that a woman is being raped every 20 minutes, hence New Delhi was rated the rape capital of the world by Ford Foundation. According to Peter and Olowa (2010), while South Africa has the highest cases of under-age rape in the world with about 67, 000 cases reported as at 2000; Nigeria has 10, 079 between 2001 to 2005, which the most affected females were aged 16-45years. However, rape affects the body, mind and soul of the victims. It damages the humanity of the victim and dehumanizes our society. Aside the physical and psychological implications, there are also social consequences associated with rape (Esere et al, 2009). It could be total withdrawal, social exclusion or self-isolation, difficulty for the victim to get married, suffering in silence, taunting etc (Rape Victims, 2004).
In the society today, the issues of rape keep increasing as the day goes by. In some societies when even if such incidence occurs, it is not known or reported simply because of stigma and the fear that even if the culprit is reported to the law enforcement agencies actions are hardly taken and the culprits are seen working with the shoulders up high as such people feel reporting the issues of rape is some who a waste of time. In Yobe state several cases of rape have been reported from across the seventeen (17) local governments within and most of this reports are either teenagers or minors. In some cases, this victim are students who were rape by their teachers, parents or respected individuals within the society or communities. The issue rape in a predominant society like Northern Nigeria is of great concern because it contradicts the norms, valves, culture and the belief system of the society. The society holds religion with high standard and as such the victims of rape ends up being traumatized due to stigma and devaluation which is always shown to them.
On several occasions, research has been conducted to look at the report causes of rape on the victims. Some of the ranges from drug addiction, poverty, illiteracy, peer influence, lack of morals and valve, lack of parental care and spiritual believes. The certainty of these affirmation factors will be assed and possibly the way out by this research. Government at all (federal, state and local government), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), Stakeholders- religious leaders, traditional leaders, elites and influential individuals have joint in the fight against rape but yet the issue is still escalating. On the part of the government, several laws have been made as to cortile the issue but yet no concerted result, the NGOs have organized seminars, workshops, town hall meetings/discussion and enlightenment but yet progress was recorded and the same time the involvement of stakeholders as mention above have made progress in terms of reduction but yet in some societies such issues are happening.
In Kenya, research was done on remedy against the barbarity of rape in Kitale (Murrey, 2009) found out many of the survivors had long depression and considered suicide, as they could not bear what they were going through. In South Africa were paying attention to understanding and preventing rape and perceptions of police officers (Thandi, 2005).While others studies concentrated on perpetrators and their motive for raping. The lack of the paucity of data describing the causes and extent of the perceived psychosocial effects of rape on the emotional stability of victims at ogbomoso south local government, oyo state. There is a need for this study on the psychosocial effects of rape.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
A rape experience constitutes a serious infringement on a person’s self. Research consistently showing strong associations between rape and poor mental health, among them; anxiety, depression, helplessness, and at times posttraumatic stress disorder alongside myriad physical health problems. For children, sexual molestation has far reaching effects on a child’s attachment and bonding, emotional regulation, and brain development among other conditions.
The prevalence of rape though well acknowledged has not been given priority in terms of addressing the problem in terms of psychosocial support for survivors of rape. Meager resources have been channeled in that area despite the serious long-term effects of rape on this population. There is also paucity of literature on the subject focusing on Ogbomoso south local government, Oyo state despite its prevalence it is against this background that the study was conducted.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
This study was guided by the following objectives:
- To identify the prevalent types of rape that occurs within Ogbomoso south local government, Oyo state
- To determine the psychosocial effects of rape on survivors in Ogbomoso south local government, Oyo state
- To identify intervention responses of reducing effects of rape in Ogbomoso south local government, Oyo state
1.4 Research Questions
The study sought to answer the following research questions:
- What are the types of rape that are most prevalent in Ogbomoso south local government, Oyo state?
- What are the psychosocial effects of rape to survivors in Ogbomoso south local government, Oyo state?
- What are the intervention responses for reducing the effect of rape?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study may be used particularly by the gender based violence unit in the department of health, Nigeria police service at the national and community leaders in obtaining feedback on the prevalent of rape cases in Ogbomoso south local government, Oyo state, the psychosocial effects of rape and intervention responses.
The findings of this study, apart from adding to the world of knowledge in the psychosocial effects on rape and intervention responses in Nigeria could provide data for future studies on the effectiveness of counseling for survivors.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study was successful because it collected information from the following sources; The Data with the cases of rape within the Ogbomoso south local government, Oyo state, the survivors of rape, personnel working with rape survivors and community members within the Ogbomoso south local government, Oyo state.
1.7 Limitations of the Study
The research was limited by lack of proper number of survivors of rape from the hospital personnel and police officers working in gender based violence unit in Ogbomoso south local government, Oyo state. However, this was partially overcome by reviewing the secondary data existing in hospital records and police records. It was a limitation to get all the survivors of rape respondent for focus group discussion as some were not ready to be seen and share their story especially conducted by a man. It was overcome by use of interview questionnaires individually to collect the information from the survivor respondents by hired female research assistant.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
Refers to a penile-vaginal penetration
Refers to an act that result in penetration with under age below 18 years
Refers to social idea of femininity and masculinity, which is learned
Refers To the indecent act or unlawful penetration with a close relative such as siblings, uncles, aunties, half brothers or sisters and parents
Refers to the interrelation of social factors and individual thought and behavior
To forceful penetration without consent of one’s genitalia into another’s genitalia whether a woman or a man
Refers to unlawful penetration of one’s genitalia using any part of the body or Object
Refers to persistent unwanted sexual advances or requests by a person to another
Refers to any sexual act or attempt, unwanted sexual advances using threats or physical force by any person regardless of relationship with the survivor Survivor refers to a person, who continues to function after rape or attempted rape, Commonly used by professional counselors
1.9 Organizations of the Study
The chapter one consist of the introductory part of the study which includes the study background, the statement of the research problem, the study objective and scope of the study.
The second chapter is a critical review of other literatures relevant to the study and its objectives including the theoretical framework for the study. While the third chapter is methods of data collection, sampling and data analysis used in conducting the study. The fourth chapter centres around the research findings including an analysis of how it relates to previous findings. The fifth chapter consists of the summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations base on the study objectives.
Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:
This chapter summarizes the findings on the perceived psychosocial effects of rape on the emotional stability of victims at Ogbomoso south local government, Oyo state. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.
5.2 Summary of the Findings
The findings indicated that majority 67.9% (19) of the survivors were below the age of eighteen years. This shows that the children are the target of the perpetrators on rape. On the other hand, majority 42.9% (6) of the respondents of community members were of the age bracket of 26 to 59 years. This shows that the research gathered most information from elderly purposive respondents who were aware of the psychosocial effects of rape. Education levels of the respondents indicated that, majority of the survivors are primary school pupils with a prevalence rate of 71.4% (20). This is a clear indication that most of those who fall victims of rape are the girls in primary school.
Majority of the community members 43% (6) had secondary school and above knowledge and less than average 28.6% (4) were drawn from those with primary education. This shows that they understood the questions being asked in the questionnaires and interview guide.
As per the first objectives, 53% (10) of the respondents mentioned children rape as the type of rape that was prevalent in Ogbomoso south. 32% (6) of the respondents also mentioned female rape that was rate slightly below average. The type of rape; gang rape and male rape were not prevalent or occurring in Ogbomoso south, as the respondents did not mentioned at all.
In relation to the second objectives findings indicated that trauma with 50% (14) was dominantly that was closely followed by humiliation that was rate slightly below average 20% (6). The other form of effects that were found to be affecting survivors was emotional that was at 15% (4), followed by stigmatization were at 10% (3), and feelings of fear 5 % (1).The study found out the psychosocial effects of rape was ranging from trauma, humiliation, emotional depression, stigmatization and feelings of fear.
Finally, as per the third objective, the study found that counseling and psychological services was healing the psychosocial effects to the survivors especially from emotional depression and trauma. 89% (24) of the survivor’s respondents they did not have psychosocial effects after attending counseling sessions which was contributed by attending hospital after rape and taken for counseling sessions.50% (7)respondents from the community members proposed rehabilitation centers to the children survivors as a means of help in management of post trauma experience, while 20% (3) said providing counseling services to the survivors and guardians will help in combating psychosocial effects as the guardian are also affected by the rape.
The study can conclude that there is prevalence of rape in Ogbomoso south, oyo state in recent past. The study found that the prevalent type of rape was identified as: children rape, women rape, intimate partner rape and elderly rape. Its prevalent factors of rape include: high poverty rates, unemployment, job seekers, alcohol consumption, influence of substance use, the role of dress code, African culture, influence of HIV and AIDS myths, lack of care for children and situational challenges. The study can conclude that the psychosocial of effects of rape is very serious as first thought, the survivor’s experiences pain and discomfort all over body. Serious physical and complicated injuries occurs, from manhandle during rape event the tear of vaginal and rectal tear can occurred. The trauma is the most psychological effects of rape, humiliation, emotional depression, stigmatization and feelings of fear. Therefore rape effect to the survivors includes; harm to their physical, psychological, emotional and sociological problem.
The researcher also concludes that interventions responses are very important in helping the survivors recover from the psychosocial effects of rape. The study found that counseling and psychological services was healing the psychosocial effects, especially from emotional depression and trauma. Emergency responses to facilitate medical examination for anything potentially harmful and the need for privacy such as; psychological supportive treatment, that tests for STDs, HIV infection and pregnancy are the major issues that require emergency cooperation as intervention.
Finally, the researcher concludes that there is need to train personnel working in gender based violence units on counseling or updated them through seminars, and workshops, to be trained how to handle the survivors of rape, and efficient remedies.
Based on the findings from the field and other scholarly works, the researcher recommends that:
The personnel working in gender based units in hospitals and police stations should be trained by the County and Government on trauma counseling and how to handle the survivors of rape when they sought assistance or coming for treatment. The survivors need to attend counseling session to deal with psychosocial effects of rape and other related issue associated with rape.
The Ogbomoso south local government need to construct and open emergency responses units in hospitals that will be able to examine the survivors of rape for anything harmful and when need for privacy,
There should be intensive awareness campaigns against rape in Oyo state and its environs by the Ogbomoso south local government supported by the Government and stakeholders.
5.5 Recommendation for Further Research
From the recent study, it is evident that there is a research gap in the study of rape and other related issue associated with rape.
It is recommended to do research on the perpetrators cases at the Ogbomoso south local government and determine out if the survivors of rape were able to get justice at the end of these rape cases.
The study to be done to the rapists convicted in Oyo prisons to determine the specific behaviours that led to the offenses of rape.
It is also recommended for the research to be done for the personnel working in gender based violence units in other local governments, on their counseling process and skills when handling rape cases in order to improve counseling coping skills of counselors.
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