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Monday, 3 May 2021

STOP SEXUAL VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IN THE NIGERIAN ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY!

 


Sexual violence is an umbrella term that includes a wide range of unlawful sexual acts. 


The term can include: 

sexual assault

sexual harassment

sex trafficking

female genital cutting

child marriage

enforced sterilization

sexual slavery

enforced prostitution

forced pregnancy

forced abortion


Sexual violence in the form of sexual harassment can also be via online or via digital technologies. 


Technology-facilitated sexual violence includes: 

online stalking

gender-based hate speech

image-based sexual abuse

online rape threats

online sexual harassment.


Sexual assault refers to an indecent sexual attack on a body. 


Rape is a form of sexual assault. It is the penetration of the vagina, anus and mouth without consent.


Attempted rape, fondling and unwanted sexual touching are forms of rape.


Rape also falls under sexual harassment because the harassment is done before the eventual assault.


Section 357 of the Criminal Code Act applicable in the Southern Nigeria defines rape as follows;


“Any person who has unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman or girl without her consent, or with her consent, if the consent is obtained by force or by means of threats or intimidation of any kind, or by fear of harm, or by means of false and fraudulent representation as to the nature of the act, or in the case of a married woman, by personating her husband, is guilty of an offence which is called rape.”


Section 358 of the same Act states that the punishment for the offence of rape is imprisonment for life.


Sexual Harassment has the following examples:

+ Actual or attempted rape

+ Unwanted pressure for sexual favors

+ Unwanted deliberate touching, leaning over, cornering or pinching

+ Unwanted sexual looks or gestures

+ Unwanted letters, telephone calls or materials of a sexual nature

+ Unwanted pressure for dates

+ Unwanted sexual teasing, jokes, remarks or questions 

+ Referring to an adult as a girl, hunk, doll, babe or honey

+ Whistling at someone

+ Cat calls. 

+ Sexual comments

+ Turning work discussions to sexual topics

+ Sexual innuendos or stories

+ Asking about sexual fantasies, preferences or history

+ Asking personal questions about social or sexual life

+ Sexual comments about a person's clothing, anatomy or looks

Kissing sounds, howling and smacking lips

+ Telling lies or spreading rumours about a person's personal sex life

+ Requesting for nude pictures or videos

+ Sharing of unwanted nudes of oneself or those gotten from online sources to a person

+ Sharing nudes of a person to other people online or offline

+ Touching an employee's clothing, hair or body

+ Giving personal gifts like under wears, sex toys, etc.

+ Hanging around a person

+ Hugging, kissing, groping, patting or stroking without permission.

+ Touching or rubbing oneself sexually around another person.

+ Standing close or brushing up against a person. 

Looking a person up and down

+ Staring at a woman lustfully

+ Sexually suggestive signals

+ Facial expressions, winking, throwing kisses or licking lips

+ Making sexual gestures with hands or through body movements.


Lagos is the capital of Nigerian entertainment. This is what the law of Lagos state says about sexual harassment: 


The Criminal Law of Lagos State prohibits harassment and describes harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favours and other visual,verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which when submitted to or rejected –

 

(a) implicitly or explicitly affects a person’s employment or educational opportunity or unreasonably interferes with the person’s work or educational performance; 


(b) implicitly or explicitly suggests that submission to or rejection of the conduct will be a factor in academic or employment decisions; or 


(c) creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive learning or working environment. 

Any person who sexually harasses another is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years.


Emotional effects of sexual violence

Anger

Fear

Humiliation

Shame

Guilt

Betrayal

Violation

Powerlessness and loss of control


Mental health effects of sexual violence

Anxiety

Depression

Panic attacks

PTSD

Difficulty concentrating

Loss of motivation

Substance abuse

Suicidal ideation


Physical effects of sexual violence

Increased stress levels

Headaches

Fatigue

Sleep disturbances

Eating disturbances


It is no news that sexual harassment and assault exist in the work place with particular reference to the Nigerian entertainment industry and with particular reference to sexual molestation by Nigerian men against Nigerian women.


Female musicians, instrumentalists, producers, disc jockeys, actresses, writers, models and women under the entertainment bracket employment face one form of harassment or the other. 


Unfortunately, many incidents of sexual harassment assault are never reported. 


In the entertainment industry, victims of assault are often worried that reporting such activity will have an adverse effect on their employment prospects.  


Victims may be forced into sexual acts in return for promises of recognition and opportunity.  This results into a QUID PRO QUO HARASSMENT.


A Quid Pro Harassment is when employment and/or employment decisions for an employee are based on that employee’s acceptance or rejection of the unwelcome sexual behavior. 


Victims may also be reluctant to report abuse due to the fear that others will not believe their version of what happened.


Child talents also experience sexual molestation. They lack the judgment to refuse sexual overtures that are tied to promises of career advancement. This is why children must be accompanied by at least one parent or a guardian for auditions or performances or shooting.


Allegations of sexual abuse in the entertainment industry are often kept secret as a result of duress and intimidation by individuals and corporations with extensive resources.  


It can be extraordinarily difficult to publicly disclose wrongdoing by powerful and well-known entities.


Asides from this reason, social media judges will be quick to crucify the victim by asking her what she was wearing when she was sexually abused. They delight in turning the victim into the culprit and blame her for her dilemma.


These social media bullies fail to realize that a woman must not be assaulted no matter what she is wearing. It is not in your place to crucify her. 


Nevertheless, sexual harassment and assault in the entertainment industry are unlawful and should be redressed through criminal and civil penalties. 


Famous and wealthy celebrities should not be protected from the consequences of their illegal behavior.  


The current dilemma being faced by victims of sexual assault in Nigeria is that it is difficult for them to get justice for sexual assault committed on them many years ago. 


Our sexual violence laws are not strong enough to incorporate other means of bringing a culprit to justice apart from written or audio or video evidence and witnesses.


The sperm DNA too is tested in Nigerian courts only if the rape case is a recent one.


Rape cases that happened years ago are swept under the carpet because of the passage of time and lack of substantial evidence. 


Nigerian laws do not accommodate the ‘look back’ widow and the use of lie detector tests.


A bill should be passed to include a lie detector test and other methods that are used in advanced countries. Otherwise, how was it possible for Bill Cosby and Robert Kelly to be jailed in the United States of America as a result of the sexual violence that they committed on women many years ago? 


Some testimonies for Bill Cosby were as far back as thirty years ago as at the time the case was being heard in court.


Never blame a rape victim for not speaking up on time. Although, it is advisable to do so, there are many mental health factors that do not make this to be possible. 


The Nigerian law must give room for a victim to take her time to build up the confidence to tell her own story and seek justice only if she wants to.


It is so unfortunate that the judiciary and legislative arm of government do not carry out researches on these matters in order to use the outcome to improve our own laws.


Why would they even bother about it when sexual harassment is still considered a little matter that can be settled amicably with a bribe?


Sexual violence is a major reason why many girls and women are skeptical about taking up a career in the entertainment industry.


There must be gender equality in all careers. Thus, males must stop intimidating females in this industry. 


I am aware that some females have no shame. They are the ones who seduce men in order to get roles. It must be noted that women who do this are not as many as those who are specifically targeted. 


My focus is not on these ones but on women who are truly hardworking and passionate about taking up a career in the entertainment industry.


I implore female entertainers and professionals to prevent sexual assault by not getting familiar with their male colleagues. 


Prepare for your auditions and do your job professionally.


Make sure that you read your contracts properly or hire a lawyer to read them for you so that you will not get tied up in unprofessional contracts and with crazy people.


Aspire to have other sources of income to run your own business and earn money from other sources of income so that you will not become dependent and desperate.


Call out your molester on social media and hire a lawyer to take up the matter. If you cannot afford a lawyer, meet a human rights organization to help fight your case.


This immorality must stop!


DJ Irawo

May 3, 2021


1 comment:

4evafreeMD said...

Well said. More grease to your elbows.

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