DATE can be RAPE

A sharp voice full of agony and resistance was heard screaming from the next room at the girl’s hostel. Her utterances could not be heard as they were engulfed in her weeping. The poor helpless girl’s scream faded out with time, and a hoarse voice was head saying ‘After all you are my girlfriend’, that was the end of the noise.

Hostels and homes around university campuses usually harbour different types of sexual abuse and manipulation girls are the most affected.  These are places where students core habit, enjoy their sexual rights and exercise their sexual freedom, but sadly, at times with undesirable consequences. Despite universities and colleges being an institutions of higher learning, cases of sexual abuse and sexual relationships remains a concern.

 

Date rape is a situation where one is forced into having sexual intercourse with his or her partner he or she is dating. It is important to note that when a partner forces his or her counterpart to having sexual intercourse against their will, that is rape and it should be reported. Sexual advances like kissing, touching, hugging among other things should be mutual. The moment one is cohered to engage in any sexual activity, it becomes rape regardless of the relationship that they have with the perpetrator.

 

Girls are usually the most affected because they are usually forced to divert from their beliefs just to protect their relationships. Young girls sometimes get into sexual encounters when they are not prepared just because they are afraid of losing a man. At times their boyfriends force themselves on them, which is referred to as date rape. However they never report such issues to the police or even college authorities. Most of them think that their boyfriends have rights to do whatever they want with their bodies. In some cases the post-reporting humiliation hinders the girls from making reports.

 

Most of these date rapes are not reported to the police, or responsible authorities due to various reasons which include, fear of embarrassment, fear to be judged by fellow students, and fear of losing financial support. Most of the young women in colleges are forced into sexual activities and are date rapedbecause they fear to be judged by their fellow counterparts that they are backwards and at times they are scared to be exposed. Sad enough, this happens in the places of Higher Learning where resistance to such pressures are expected.

 

A university is a place where most adolescence are found and they stay there with little or no control from their parents and they feel that they are old enough to make decisions for their lives. Many want to experiment their sexuality by practising what they see on television hence lot of sexual myths circulate among themselves.

 

In this patriarchal society men think they have control over women whom they date or they are married to. This is a serious societal challenge which has to be addressed. This has serious repercussions to women sexual and reproductive health.  As a result young college girls end up involved in unprotected sexual acts to protect their relationships especially where they are also benefiting financially. This exposes them to sexually transmitted diseases like STIs, HIV among other diseases.

 

Young people need to be careful with relationships which may expose them to abuse. Sexual acts should be mutual and agreed on. Any sexual advance that happens without consent is criminal and should be reported to the police. There are also cases of young women who are drugged by their partners at parties so that they can easily have sexual intercourse with them.

 

Students and Youth Working on reproductive Health Action Team (SAYWHAT) calls upon the government to expedite the student funding challenge that has been with the students for years. Absence of students funding through grants and loans is a major factor exposing the young women in colleges to date rape. Young women are forced by circumstances not to report such sexual abuse. The sexual abuse is also common when students are on work-related attachment. Besides the student funding, there is need to also strengthen the justice system so that reported cases are decisively dealt with without embarrassing the victim.