“Stay at home, don’t get raped”
“Cover your body, don’t get raped”
No. Just No.
Clothing or the lack of it in your opinion isn’t an invitation to rape or sexual assault. Similarly, where one decides to go (or not go) is not enough justification for sexual abuse.
In a different world, belonging to a different society and culture – putting on short dresses or tight shorts is not considered indecent. Different upbringings breed different modes of dressing. That someone is dressed differently based on sport, religion, culture and their state of being does not mean they’re wrong neither does it make it okay for them to be violated.
If sexual assault was caused by the places we go or the clothes we wear, what do we then say to the numerous covered women that have been pulled aside and violated? Were their long & loose outfits asking for it too?
What do we say to the children that haven’t even learnt to speak and somehow have been violated by their fathers, uncles, neighbors and even spiritual leaders? They don’t have breasts to show and I’m certain that their diapers are not “sexy”.
The evil of rape solely lies with the rapist, man or woman – and constantly having to repeat this is becoming a chore.
If staying home and not going out at night is the solution to sexual abuse and/or rape, why do women that remain indoors get raped by family & friends? Why do little boys get assaulted by their older aunties and uncles in their homes?
As women and as humans, we have to respect each other, our values and what we stand for. Shaming someone and blaming them for what they could not have possibly seen coming or bargained for is honestly a disgusting thing to do.
It’s time for a different approach, teach your men and women, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunties and sons about consent. Teach them that they do not have a right to the body of anyone else unless that person says so. Teach them not to blame victims but their violators. Teach them about rape culture.
According to UNICEF, six out of ten children in Nigeria experience emotional, physical or sexual abuse before the age of 18, with half experiencing physical violence. Their dressing whether appropriate or not according to your morals didn’t beg for it.
We live in a diverse world with different people of different upbringing. Expecting everyone to dress in a certain way is outright ridiculous and frankly impossible. The evil to be tackled is the increasing rape culture alongside the scary notion that we have a right to the body of others.
Ultimately, what people wear or don’t and where they go or not isn’t and shouldn’t be what we’re angry about.