THE RAPE CHRONICLES – A Place for Date Rape?
Friday, August 24th, 2012
Date rape is the common term for non-consensual sexual (vaginal, anal, oral) intercourse that is forced (by way of physical force or
psychological coercion) on a person by someone that they know. Date rape is a complex and difficult area of criminal law, given the nature of the relationship between the victim and the accused. However, most jurisdictions like ours, make no legal distinction between date rape and rape. This is even though it is well known that rape occurs far more often between people already acquainted than between strangers.
(Date) Rape cases may also take the form of emotional or financial coercion as opposed to the regular physical coercion. Where the rapist is placed in a higher position, he may use his position to harass and intimidate a woman to succumb to his sexual demands. By instilling fear through threats, a woman in that circumstance who succumbs can hardly be said to have given her consent. Where the rapists threatens to withhold or refuse promotions, money, examination results or anything due to the victim, the eventual intercourse would also fall under the heading of rape. In these cases, there will be no form of physical evidence.
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Tags: African Culture, and Norms, bride price, human-rights, Poverty, psychological coercion, Psychology, Public Responsiblity, Rape, Rape and the Law, Rape and The Society, religion, society, traditional marriage ceremonies, unlawful carnal knowledge
In most cultures today, marriage has bee a big ‘project’, especially when it comes to payment of the bride price. Research shows that, because of the endless demands made on the intending husband, the celebration of traditional marriage ceremonies seems to be on the decline. Such factors have been the cause of low patronage of the traditional marriage institution and a threat to the family system. This has made many parents give out their daughters without sweating the details of traditional obligation, or run the risk of leaving them unmarried.
Gift exchange has been an essential part of marriage rites and ceremonies in Nigeria. It involves the exchange of materials or money from the man’s to the woman’s family, but practices differ among communities. The bride price may be payment in cash, gifts or the rendering of services by the groom and/or his family to the family of the bride. Payment of the bride price is one of the most significant traditional practices in Nigerian traditional marriages. The fulfilment of the bride price confers on the marriage recognition under the customary laws of the relevant communities. Traditionally, bridal gifts were to bring about a bond between the two families. It was emblematic. It was to unite the couple as well as to bring the families together. In the past, it was given freely by the future husband and not demanded by the bride’s family.
But the opposite is what we see and experience in recent times in relation to payment of the bride price. Today, the practice of bride price is aggressively negotiated, thereby reducing ladies to mere commodities for exchange. This has also made families to see their daughters as a source of revenue generation.
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