Did She Consent?
Did She Consent? is a guest post submitted by Yemisi Onaopemipo (Lawyer).
The Internet in Nigeria has literally been set afire over the last few days.
Some commentators have claimed that since there was no violence involved it was not a rape.
Well, the law is quite explicit on what constitutes a Rape and that includes the following:
“Rape is penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth of another person with a penis without their consent.” SEE Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPPA) 2015, OGUNBAYO V. STATE (2007) LPELR-2323(SC), IDI V. STATE (2017) LPELR-42587 (SC) and STATE V. MUSA (2018) LPELR-46318 (CA).
The “absence of consent” is what determines whether sexual activity was a rape or not. The victim may have been intimidated by the assailant by means of a weapon, or threats to harm her or someone close to her or by virtue of the position he wields over her. Out of fright, she may have frozen and been unable to speak or scream out in fright or might have gone limp. It still does not mean consent.
The victim may not physically fight back. This still does not mean consent.
The victim may have been scared, intimidated, bullied, restrained, asleep, incapacitated, inebriated or underaged. It still does not mean consent.
The Rape may have been violent or non-violent. This still does not mean consent.
The victim may not have mentioned it to anyone else. It still does not mean consent.
The activity may have commenced with consent but once consent is withdrawn, it becomes rape.
There is also statutory rape, which is a sexual activity with a minor, that is, anyone younger than 18 years of age.