Given how deeply rooted misogyny and rape culture is in Nigeria, it comes as no surprise that there has never been an official sexual offenders list in Nigeria. UNICEF says 1 in 4 Nigerian girls are victims of sexual violence before they turn 18, and according to a national survey carried out in 2014, only 38% of those who experienced sexual violence as children told someone about it, and only about 5% sought help.
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons is the law enforcement agency charged with administering the provisions of the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act. Currently on the website, there are 7 incidents reported, 10 verified reported cases and 5 convicted cases. Although this numbers do not represent the vast amount of underreported cases, it is a first step towards proper documentation and accountability.
Last summer, we all witnessed how young women in Nigeria took to social media to name and shame their abusers, with media personality, Busola Dakolo adopting the same approach when divulging her encounter with COZA Pastor Fatoyinbo. Social media has always been a useful tool that women can use to make their voices heard in a society where the police and the government have turned a deaf ear.
The advent of the list, although long overdue, is extremely important to ending silence culture in Nigeria, and it’s good that we are finally having a permanent list that can be used to hold perpetrators in our society accountable.
Tami is a lover of astrology, music and women. Tweet your fave female artistes at her @tamimak_