Sunday, 3 July 2011
And even more on violence with a different slant- Not for the fainthearted abeg
I appreciateall of you especiallly those thatreplywithout me doingthe blogrounds, fact is havefeverish symptoms, can hardly see properly, stand for long or recall simple things..So I cantread it alll, but will resume with vengeance. please forgive me.
Feverish symptoms aside, i was sent this story on my pnone and my lord this story chilled me to the bones...I am too ill to write on it but I am copying it word for word..Such a pathetic story just had to share.
Rape and the stillbirth of my unborn book
by Awitty Person on Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at 2:35pm
We are at war!...and just like in earlier wars, rape is being used as a weapon, a social leveler, to humiliate the enemy, undermine our morale and instill fear into the populace. In this war is pitched, on one side…the hunted, `me and you', and on the other side…the hunters, `they', who believe that `me and you' have deprived `they' of their rightful place in society. It goes without saying that `me and you' are considered the enemy, our conspicuous consumption, `Home & Garden' type picturesque homes, and luxury SUVs, the very evidence to prove to `they' that we are guilty as charged.
`They' seem to have instinctively learnt that `to the victor goes the spoils' has been a masculine war cry for centuries and that women have been classed as part of the spoils of war. So `they' raid our homes, not just to `reclaim' valuables they consider to be theirs in the first instance but to impose the final expression of masculine domination…sexual humiliation. This humiliation, this subjugation of our last bastion, includes gang rape, gay rape (yes! rape of men by men), anal rape and rape with an array of objects such as sticks, machetes, clubs and gun barrels.
When there is a violent crime in Port Harcourt involving armed men as antagonists and women as victims, 95 out of 100 times, rape occurs. An emerging and equally disturbing trend is gay rape, where, as the ultimate humiliation and sign of masculine domination, male victims are routinely raped by the male invaders, oftentimes in the presence of their family members and loved ones, before the very people who consider them as the alpha male, the family's pole authority. The perpetuators' egos are buoyed by their victim's feelings of fear, pain, helplessness, and desperation. The objective to inflict long-term psychological feelings of helplessness, depression, anxiety disorders, multiple somatic symptoms, flashbacks, difficulty re-establishing intimate relationships, shame, and persistent fears. In essence, force the victim to face the psychological feelings troubling the antagonist, in this case, using rape as a veritable social leveler.
So when next you hear that armed robbers visited your neighbor's house and spent 4 hours robbing their victims, especially when women live in the house. Ask yourself how long it should take a group of men to ransack a three, four or even eight bedroom apartment….What do you think they were doing in the interlude? More often than not the invaders spent the time serially raping their victims in a metonymic celebration of their territorial acquisition.
Before you ask, `Which one be my own sef?', it may interest you to know that there is a deeply troubling personal angle to this tirade of mine, a chain of events that has left `macho me' more scarred than I ever thought I could be.
On a Monday morning sometime in 2008 my wife received a distress call from her head office located in GRA Phase II Port Harcourt (a relatively highbrow neighborhood). The office (my wife owns a food business) had been burgled overnight! Sited behind the restaurant and office block is a residential building where some of her staff reside. The bandits, numbering over 20, gained access to the office block around 1 a.m. in the morning, bound and gagged the male staff and security men, broke into my wife's office, headed straight for where she left her un-evacuated weekend sales (they had a clear idea where to go) and helped her evacuate the cash. They then proceeded to the restaurant and offloaded the fridges of all alcoholic beverages. Armed with the looted drinks they trooped to the residential building where three of the female staff (one of who was due to commence her National youth service that month) lay sleeping, forced them awake and proceeded on a five-hour-long orgy (all twenty of them!) that included gang rape, anal rape and at some point (when one of the girls resisted anal rape) threateningly sliding the tip of a machete blade into her virgina in an unspoken threat to slice her open if she resisted any further.
On receiving the distress call on the aforementioned day, my wife and I immediately bundled the girls to my family doctor, Dr. Okey Ibeabuchi of Palmers' Hospital, who upon administering first aid advised that we take them to a clinic run by Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF, aka Doctors Across Borders) in Teme, Mile 1, Port Harcourt. Unknown to me at the time, MSF has a robust rape clinic (from where they offer free Medicare) in Port Harcourt, complete with trauma counseling, post–contact HIV prophylactic treatment, VD / STD treatment etc. We took the girls there, they were treated and counseled and the rest, like they say is history.
Several unanswered questions nagged me at the time. Why does MSF need to run a rape clinic in Port Harcourt? Was the rape of my wife's staff simply an isolated incident or was the presence of a specialist rape clinic evidence of a wide spread problem? Those who know my inquisitive and adventurous nature will then understand the genesis of my odyssey into the world of rape in Port Harcourt. I had previously done extensive work / research on HIV/AIDS associated social stigmatization, human trafficking (especially in women and children) and abuse of women. Rape, I thought, will be a walk in the park…Well suffice it to say that I have never been more wrong in my life!
What I unearthed in the cause of my research has left me deeply and permanently traumatized! The proposed collection of short stories to be titled `Please Don't' Tell My Husband and other Stories' has become too traumatic to write, no matter how much I try to distance the artiste in me from the victims' trauma. It appeared that the human angels in MSF had identified and deployed considerable resources to what has, unknown to most of the city's residents, become a widespread and systematic local practice.
From the victims in denial; like the very beautiful Port Harcourt `big girl' who claimed that though the invaders serially raped her security man's scrawny looking sister (who happened to be visiting at the time), they did not as much as lay a finger on her smoking-hot-sexy-voluptuous-body during their 4 hour sojourn in her house; to the distraught wife who revealed that she accidently found out that the reason for her husband's recent strange behavior was because he and some of his male colleagues were raped when their work-barge was invaded by hoodlums; or the acquaintance, who was probably raped along with her siblings, who refused to say much because the burden was too much and the horrendous secret was not soley hers to keep or divulge; or the psychological destroyed father whose daughters (aged 13 and 15) where raped by invaders one month after he moved into his new Abuloma, Port Harcourt home and…wait for this!…re-raped one month later by the same bandits, who apparently returned to re-enact the good time they had in the course of their previous sojourn.
I can go on and on…each narrative a bookmarked, unique story from the bowels of Armageddon.
The final nail to the unborn book's coffin occurred in August of last year. I received yet another early morning call from a very close friend of mine, someone who had overtime become one of those rare special friends that are part of your daily existence. Bandits had also invaded her house around 1 a.m. in the morning, spent about 4 hours, and within the period raped three women. I almost went berserk! Again, I found myself calling Dr. Okey, who advised that we take the victims straight to Teme Clinic. In this instance too the secret wasn't solely her's to keep, so I found myself nerve wrackingly guessing as to the extent of the trauma. The best I could do was to ensure that I remained as emotionally and physically available as possible to provide any required psychological or material support.
So my people, this is the Port Harcourt we have found ourselves in today. A society where the culture of hard work, genuine success is threatened by those whose objective and active pastime is to identify the society's `big boys and girls' and systematically humiliate and psychologically subjugate them. A society where women are routinely kidnapped, ostensibly for ransom, only to be used as `comfort women', serially raped by their captors. A society where, unfortunately, just like in the case of HIV/AIDS, a culture of silence and a network of social stigma aggravates the problem, made further worse by institutional humiliation and intimidation of victims (in some cases by law enforcement agents), as well as the `embarrassment' of public acknowledgement.
My research revealed that in our society rape survivors are stigmatized and ostracized by those who consider rape as bringing dishonor to a woman's family. The husband of a rape victim is considered shamed while male rape victims will rather die than admit that such an event took place. This culture of silence reinforces the stigma already attached to the victim rather than to the perpetrator and emboldens the perpetuators to continue with the act.
According to the UNICEF rape is common in countries affected by wars and natural disasters, drawing a link between the occurrence of sexual violence and significant uprooting of a society and the crumbling of social norms. There is an ongoing war in Port Harcourt, a war between `they' and `me and you'! Our social norms have not just crumbled but have long since disappeared. The economic disasters foisted on our people are worse or at the best, on the same scale as some of the world's worse natural disasters. Pretending that a rape problem does not exist or that there is no such war, can and will only exacerbate the problem.
I don't pretend that I have all the answers, neither do I have a picture perfect solution to the malady….but let us at least start to talk about the problem. Let us talk about rape in Port Harcourt!
p.s: thanks for reading through its been a burden upon my heart but thanks again..xxxx