By Ibukun Busari
A rape apologist is someone who defends rapists with the full knowledge of the crime they have committed; someone who claims a victim of rape is the one at fault for an assault (Urban Dictionary).
It is beyond reasoning that anyone with a sane mind will defend a rapist and blame the survivor. How can you even do that?. An individual was assaulted, abused physically which can lead to health and mental issues, yet it is the survivor you blame by saying ridiculous things. A rapist is a criminal; and a rape apologist is no better than a rapist because whatever it is that you defend, you can do as well.
Rape apologists go as far as shaming the survivor, they bring up ways to tarnish the image of the survivor; their most common saying includes ‘she seduced him’, she was dressed provocatively’, ‘ a man is moved by what he sees’,‘ what was she looking for in his house’, ‘ she was leading him on’ ‘where is she going to at night’ etc.
The story of a popular Nigeria actor broke out on social media. He was accused of sexual assault and molestation of a minor. A video of him pleading not to be revealed and blaming the devil for his action was all over social media. In a disappointing move by some of his colleagues, a veteran actor openly said she has been ‘pleading’ with the mother of the child to drop the case. Pleading for a criminal. Why do people show sympathy for rapists but do not have any for survivors?. The most disgusting statement was by another colleague who said ‘he did not rape the child, he was only playing with her boobs and want to kiss her’. I simply have no words for this.
For some people they cover up rape crime, and this happens among friends and families. Not surprisingly, between 85% to 90% of rape cases are perpetrated by people the victim already knows. The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), recorded that 93% of Juvenile victims knew the perpetrator, 59% were acquaintances, 34% were family members and 7% were strangers.
If you cover up a rape crime, you’re a rape apologist.
Rape is not a family matter that should be ‘settled’ within the family, it is a societal matter and should be reported to the appropriate authority, it should not be covered up. Your action enables rapist and encourages silence, silence on the part of survivors who are afraid to speak because they do not want to be ‘shamed’. There is nothing amicable to settle about rape. It can only be resolved in the court of law where justice will be served.