I was busy with school runs in Gwagwalada when I got a frantic call reporting the attempted rape of a first year University of Abuja(UniAbuja) student by another first year student of Biological Sciences called Monday. By the time I got there, the Chief Security Officer was just beginning to interview both parties, starting from the boy, Monday.He told of how he made his 'intentions' known to her and she said she would 'think about it' but he according to him, he didn't understand why shy couldn't give a straight answer, so he began making moves at 'romancing' her and feigns ignorance of her claims that from the moment he started, she told him to stop. He claims he only noticed her seriousness 'when he crossed the boundary'. He is upset that he had sent her 400 naira recharge card before and doesn't get why she will reject him.
The young lady insists she came by at all because he said he was not well. By the time she got in, he was playing loud music, so from the moment he began trying to have sex, she was shouting but the loud music drowned her voice. She insists he pinned her to the mattress and she tried strangling him with his necklace till it cut. After that, she reached for the laptop as a weapon and ripping it out turned off all the music then he released her because she could now be heard. She ran out and called for help. She got help and retrieved her phone and slippers and purse. Then she began reporting to their mutual friends and people she trusts. She insisted she injured him to. On demand, he took off his shirt and everyone saw injuries she gave him and more.
I got upset that the attitude towards gathering evidence is zero. There seemed to be a majority notion that as long as there was eventually no penetration, it is not so grievous a crime. All I insisted was to document all that could be seen as evidence before any statements are taken etc.
I applaud the lady for speaking up. We need ensure the students and security men understand sexual harassment in its entirety and be sure whatever responses are in place take into cognizance victim needs.
I was very agitated when it seemed people were upset that 'she was trying to make a lot out of something very small.
More people need to understand what sexual violence is and legal provisions for victims and offenders.
More details tomorrow. These pictures were finally taken at the crime scene. More shocking experiences tomorrow morning.
Many are trying to use victim blaming and shaming to force her to drop the case. Please, let us change the narrative and share this widely to punish the perpetrator, not the victim. ...Ambassador Dorothy Njemanze