Some lawyers on Tuesday in Lagos blamed moral decadence, seductive dressing, dwindling family bonding and children’s unrestricted access to electronic devices as some causes of rape and defilement.
The lawyers, who spoke with our correspondent, regretted that the wave of the crimes was worrisome.
A social critic, Mr. Spurgeon Ataene, said that the rate of rape and defilement of minors should be a cause for concern to every Nigerian.
“Teaching of morals in schools are no longer emphasized; so, at the formative stage, children go astray as they are allowed unlimited access to all manner of electronic devices.
“Schools are no longer interested in corrective punishment; male teachers see nothing wrong in showing amorous affection for underage female students.
“Parents see nothing wrong in children dressing seductively, families forget that bonding is key to good upbringing, and that a child needs to talk to parents in a way that confidence is engendered,’’ he said.
He noted that bullying a child would create fear in him or her, making the child unable to confide in the parent even when touched inappropriately.
“Male children read, watch videos unrestricted,” he added.
Ataene advised that workplaces and schools should emphasize decent dressing.
“I believe one can look attractive without exposing the cleavages.
“Hard work should remain the fulcrum of success. We should frown at internet fraud and the penchant to sway ladies with ill-gotten wealth.
“Law enforcement agencies should police soft targets where this heinous crime is committed such as beaches, concerts, shows, school events and birthday parties.’’
The lawyer advised parents to be more careful with those they would entrust their kids with.
He added that parents should monitor their children’s well.
A rights campaigner, Chief Malcolm Onirhobo, blamed increasing spate of rape and defilement on poor morals at home.
“Some parents no longer teach their children what they should know, but focus on business and even spend hours on Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and other social media networks.
“General idleness on the part of the youth also plays a role as an idle mind is the devil’s playground; therefore, youths must be meaningfully engaged,’’ he said.
According to Onirhobo, stigmatization of rape victims hinders reportage of the crime.
He advised that such stigmatization should be stopped.
Onirhobo also called for an enlightenment campaign on steps to be taken after rape, such as exhibiting firsthand evidence of semen deposits, bruises and other physical signs on the victim.
He said that if rape victims would be given adequate protection, they would speak out.
Mr Ayotunde Ologe, also a lawyer, blamed increased rape cases on “culture of impunity and silence’’.
“Our culture seems to encourage rape as you often hear some elders refer to underage as, `my wife’.
“The culture of impunity often helps rapists to get away with the crime,” he said, adding that culture of silence often kept rape victims from speaking up.
Ologe called on more states to set up special courts to try rape cases, noting that Lagos State had done so.
He called for longer prison terms and castrations of convicted rapists, as well as public enlightenment on the consequences of rape.