The Metropolitan Archbishop of Lagos Ecclesiastical Province, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins has expressed grave concern on the increase of rape cases in the country, describing it as an appalling and reprehensible gross violation of the sacredness of the victim’s body and an afront on God who created the victims and every other person in his image and likeness.
The Archbishop’s position was contained in a press statement released recently in Lagos and signed on his behalf by the Archdiocesan Director of Social Communications, Rev. Fr. Anthony Godonu. According to the Archbishop, rape is an intrinsic evil and causes scars on the psyche of the victims. He therefore called for a more proactive action on the part of government to curb the social malaise, in collaboration will all stakeholder groups in the society.
Noting that the high number of rape incidents across the country in recent times, as disclosed by the Inspector General of Police which was put at over 717 by the Inspector General of Police, was an attestation that the society was fast plunging into the abyss of immorality; Archbishop Martins declared that: “The Holy Scriptures and the Church down through the ages have condemned all sexual perversion including rape. He added: “Rape deeply wounds the respect, freedom, physical and moral integrity of the victim. It causes grave damage to the victim, sometimes for life. Rape is an intrinsically evil act that is even more grave and condemnable when inflicted on children either by parents (incest) or those who exercise any form of authority over them especially those responsible for their education. (cf. CCC 2356).”
While calling for decisive action to be taken against all those found culpable in the court of the law, Archbishop Martins stressed that urgent steps must be taken to rid the society of the evil of rape. The Archbishop declared: "Parents, religious bodies and non-governmental Organizations must deliberately teach the boy-child respect for women; concerned government agencies must pay attention to suggestive contents that sexualize girls in musical videos as well as enforce more strict restrictions on pornographic materials that are so easily available on the internet.
He added: “Each person must also resist the common view that people must satisfy whatever urge or desire they have as if we are lower animals that have no control over their desires and urges. Everyone must also advocate for justice for victims of rape and severest possible punishment for rapists.”
The Archbishop called on the Nigeria Police to ensure justice for victims of rape and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) and health workers across the country to join hands with other relevant professionals bodies to offer care and necessary counselling to victims of rape in order to help them overcome the trauma of the sad experience.
Archbishop Martins also called on the National Assembly to find ways of ensuring that all States in the country domesticate the Child Rights Act in order to give full legal protection and guard against abuse of children, especially the girl child.
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