Joining other aggrieved Nigerian celebrities to campaign against rape and sexual assault, Oluwagbenga Oluwafemi Dawodu, a comedian and event compere popularly known as ‘Kristen Dawodu’ has expressed his concerns over the trending issue.
Condemning the acts that again, recently lead to the violations and deaths of promising Nigerian girls, Dawodu said: ‘Rape could be caused by unbridled sexual desire, but it is now understood as a pathological assertion of power over a victim. The psychological motivations of a rapist are more complex than we could merely think of. Many things could be the aim of a rapist, they may include the desire to punish, to take revenge, to cause pain, to prove sexual prowess or to control fear, but whichever reason it may be, raping a lady shouldn’t be the best option.’
He continued: ‘Some rapist will not just rape a victim, they will go ahead and terminate their lives, and the most shocking part is sexual assault isn’t limited to women, many men and boys suffer rape and sexual trauma each year. But in most cases, it happens to women and girls more. Regardless of age or gender, the impact of sexual violence goes far beyond any physical injuries. The trauma of being raped or sexually assaulted can be shattering, leaving the victim to be scared, ashamed, alone or plagued by nightmares, they could always have a flashback of the incident and other unpleasant memories.’
The entertainer bemoaned that the world doesn’t feel like a safe place anymore due to the recent case of a person been raped and killed in the church.
According to him, ‘when these things happen, you don’t even trust yourself anymore. You may question your judgment, your self-worth, and even your sanity. You may blame yourself for what happened or believe that you are “dirty” or “damaged goods”. And like many rape survivors, you may struggle with infectious diseases, anxiety and depression.
In addition, Kristen urged victims to build up the courage to admit and speak up that they were raped or sexually assaulted, of course, there’s a stigma attached.
‘It can make you feel dirty and weak. You may also be afraid of how others will react, will they judge you? Look at you differently? Summon the courage to speak up! It seems easier to downplay what happened or keep it a secret. But I must tell you when you stay silent, you deny yourself help and reinforce your victimhood. Reach out to someone you trust, it is common to think that if you don’t talk about it, then it didn’t really happen. But the truth is, you can’t heal when you are avoiding the truth and hiding only adds to feelings of shame, as scary as it is, open up. It will set you free and will give more room to getting the rapist to face judgment.
In conclusion, remember that as a victim, your ability to be able to open up, your ability to be able to trust someone with your story opens more rooms for the evil people (rapist) to get caught and face a befitting punishment. Speak up today! Help reduce sexual assault in society.’