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Consent Made Easy

Before learning to compose sentences or even knowing the alphabet, as children we learnt first and foremost to comprehend, then say yes and no.

Women live in perpetual fear of men who catcall them from hostel windows, men who walk behind them at night, men who invite them to their homes and offices for the flimsiest reasons, unknown men who offer them rides. Women live in fear of these predators, but since no man has “predator” written across his forehead, all men then fall into this category

Easier than ABC consent is yes or no. It’s not a wink or insinuation. It’s not a body language, it speaks.

Consent does not give room for assumption, it’s as clear as day and as striking as a searchlight at night.

Consent does not confuse, so if it feels confusing then consent was not given. Consent can be granted if requested for but it cannot be taken by coercion, force or manipulation. Consent is not as simple as 123, it’s simpler. It takes a second. It’s a yes or a no. Consent to some degree can be likened to traffic lights – red means stop and green means go, however, consent is much less complex, as within the context of consent, yes means yes and no means no.

It’s not a man’s world, it’s a shared world. A world for humans, men and women alike. She doesn’t have to be your wife, mother, girlfriend, sister, niece or daughter for you to empathize. You don’t have to know her personally before taking a stand against the uncultured predatory individuals that try to take advantage of her. Women live in perpetual fear of men who catcall them from hostel windows, men who walk behind them at night, men who invite them to their homes and offices for the flimsiest reasons, unknown men who offer them rides. Women live in fear of these predators, but since no man has “predator” written across his forehead, all men then fall into this category. Not all snakes are poisonous, but that’s for the snake charmer to know and not for us to find out.

Rape. An act so despicable people call for culprits found guilty to be punished by castration. Rapists ruin lives, rapists damage homes, rapists break souls. She is not to blame. What she wore, the gestures she gave and where she stays are not to blame either. Rapists rape. And whoever protects a rapist is an enabler that puts several others at risk.

If you have a rape case to report, the Lagos state Domestic Sexual and Violence Response Team can be reached on 08137960048. Mirabel Centre, a sexual assault referral centre that provides holistic, medical and psychosocial services to survivors of sexual assault and rape free of charge can be reached on 08155770000.

Rape is a crime #SayNoToRape.

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