If dressing is reason for rape, children shouldn’t be victims — Executive Director, women advocacy centre, Akiyode-Afolabi

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Executive Director, Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre, Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, in this interview with CHIMA AZUBUIKE, explains how government and parents can fight rising cases of rape

What is actually responsible for the rising number of rape cases, some of which are incestuous?

There are a lot of factors that are responsible. The Evidence Act is not very sensitive to the situation of  survivors of rape. There are issues of corroboration as well as issues surrounding the police and the type of conversation that goes on there. It is usually done in the open space. The police and judiciary are not trained on how to handle rape. So questions on what were you wearing; why should you wear come up.  There is a systemic problem. In terms of language that is context specific, the system and procedure are also not helpful to victims of rape.

Another is the issue of the community. There is a general belief by the community that once it is not affecting them, then it is not a threat to them and society. There are times when religious and traditional leaders come to seek forgiveness on behalf of culprits.

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