Magistrate laments rising cases of sexual assault, advocates creation of special courts

Magistrate laments rising cases of sexual assault, advocates creation of special courts

Magistrate A. O. Oyeniyi of an Ikirun Magistrate’s Court in Osun State has decried reoccurring menace of rape, other sexual assault and domestic violence across the country.

 

Oyeniyi said lack of support mechanisms for victims of the illegal and immoral acts was fueling the menace, stressing the need for stakeholders to ensure that right signals are sent out to perpetrators.

 

The female judge expressed sadness while presiding over a rape case of a teenage girl at her court.

 

She noted that there should not be any excuse for anyone to rape the other, and therefore canvassed for the need for necessary supportive mechanisms to be provided to enable the wheel of recovery for survivors and justice to sail smoothly.

 

The Magistrate stressed the need for special courts for adjudication of rape and domestic violence cases, adding that such matters should not be delayed unnecessarily.

 

Lamenting that only few of the cases are being reported, Oyeniyi maintained that female judges should put more efforts in protecting women and girls from rapists and those who derive joy in domestic violence.

 

Refusing an accused person, Wahab Taofeek, who was alleged of raping a 16-year-old girl in the state, bail, the Magistrate said, “There are lots of things going on that we are not aware of. Out of five rape cases, only one is reported. I won’t grant bail because I am sending a signal outside there. I am a woman and I have a daughter. I can imagine how survivors feel. I don’t know if I will still be safe if these atrocities are allowed to continue unchecked.”

 

She urged for supportive mechanisms, saying, “Rape is a violent crime. The most disturbing area of it is that as a society, we don’t have all the supportive mechanisms to fight it. You can just imagine the psychological emotion and trauma that survivors go through. By the virtue of the fact that I sit here, no children should suffer harm. Once you are 24 years old, and you feel you want to have sex, why not go to people who can offer it to you without force? It should be a voluntary action. People should stop being  barbaric. It is barbaric to do something like that. It should be by choice.”

 

According to her, cases like this determine urgency. We should have specialized courts for rape cases. The beautiful thing about VAPP Act is that it defines rape in such a way that you have never heard before. We are women, what have we done? It is our right to dress anyhow we want, whether provocatively or not, it should not be the reason for anyone to assault me. Indecent dressing is not an excuse for rape. It is even subjective to say someone is dressing indecently. If I sit here and I can’t fight for my constituency, who will?” Oyeniyi stated

#thepoint

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