Nollywood actress and philanthropist, Tonto Dikeh, has urged lawmakers to amend the law on rape and molestation.
The mother of one in, an interview with Saturday Beats, said the reason why most victims don’t come out is because there is no law to back them up.
She went further to explain how the society treats victims instead of castigating the perpetrators.
Tonto said, “In Nigeria, cases of rape are fast assuming a threatening dimension that requires urgent intervention. Rape, like other forms of violence against women, is an infringement on women’s rights, privacy, self-preservation and dignity.
“There is little or no policy or law that protect the victims as they are most times blamed, stigmatised and humiliated by society if it is brought to the public domain. This hinders victims from embracing a mindset of reporting such an inhumane crime to the appropriate authorities.”
She said the best punishment for rapists should be death or castration because she doesn’t feel the punishment often given to them make others learn as some end up walking free.
“I believe that any person found guilty of rape should be sentenced to death either by hanging, firing squad, lethal injection or electrocution. I would also recommend castration.
“Rape cases and sexual molestations have become the order of the day, and the victims are not getting enough justice. Most of these perpetrators still walk freely.”
According to the actress, the most important thing people need to focus on is the “root causes.” She said men equals power while women equals less value, hence the rise of rape in the society.
She also spoke about how victims are often thrown under the bus for wearing a certain cloth, for refusing to talk immediately after the assault.
“Yes, we can eradicate rape and work towards zero tolerance. Firstly, we need to speak out against the root causes. Rape culture festers when we buy into ideas of masculinity that see violence and dominance as ‘strong’ and ‘manly’, and when women and girls are less valued.
“It is also underpinned by victim-blaming—an attitude that suggests a victim, rather than the perpetrator, bears responsibility for an assault. When discussing cases of sexual violence, a victim’s sobriety, clothes and sexuality are irrelevant.
“Instead, we need to counter the idea that men and boys must obtain power through violence and question the notion of sex as an entitlement. The law on rape should be amended and its definition expanded,” She said.