People who haven’t spent much time talking about rape often point to lack of physical or other corroborating evidence as the reason for low conviction rates. People who do talk about this frequently aren’t impressed. Here’s why.
An online website monitoring the case yesterday reported that commenting on a DVD tape sent to his CP to expedite investigations into the activities of the criminal gang, J.G. Micloth, the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Abia State Police command Criminal Investigation Department said the lady had consented to the gang crime.
He was quoted as saying that after watching the DVD, he said he did not see the young lady resist the rape.
Mr Micloth yesterday said gang rape is often videoed as a tool by under-graduate boys to rubbish the self esteem of snobbish girls. He said even if the lady had not consented, he figured that she was a girlfriend to one of the cultists and must have probably cheated on him and when queried ‘insulted’ the boy hence he probably assembled a gang to teach her the lesson of her life, the website said.
In the rape video, which lasted well over an hour, the girl could be seen trying to fight off the men. When her efforts proved abortive amidst beatings, she resorted to pleading with them to spare her; but her pleas fell on deaf ears. And when she could not take the excruciating pain any longer, she begged them to kill her, instead of letting her live with the stigma our society would pile on top of her already horrendous trauma. As she pleaded with them, the boys laughed and mocked her, asking her to ‘co-operate’ or face two more days of torture by rape.
The police did, however, manage to see and stop a protest of 300 women urging them to look further into the rape. Physical evidence does nothing for victims (and nothing to prevent future rapes) in a society that insist upon looking at that evidence with eyes that start, not neutral, but on the side of the accused rapist.
Lest you notice that this particular society happens to be located in Nigeria, don’t feel too superior. Remember the 11-year-old girl whose victim-blaming was picked up and reported as-is by The New York Times in March? Don’t forget how that story started:
The police investigation began shortly after Thanksgiving, when an elementary school student alerted a teacher to a lurid cellphone video that included one of her classmates.
When you’re not willing to believe the accused might be rapists, nothing in the world is going to convince you.