The Age Of Male Entitlement Where Women Will Never Be Safe

I will tell you a story that should make your blood boil. It should set you on edge, make your body shake, chest hurt, shoulders fall, knees buckle and eyes swell up in pain and anger and fear. Fear at the world. Fear that this story which I will tell you is not like the stories people make up or create from imagination.

It is not a tortoise and hare story told to scare humans into doing good. It is not even a “how-the-world-was-created” story told with a bit of fiction mixed with truth. It is a completely true story that happened barely three weeks ago, but which really continues to happen all around you every single day.

If it were not so, it would be easy for you to read this story and forget how you feel soon after. The outrage and disgust and shame that will cloud your being will stop and you will continue your life like nothing has changed. Except, this is not like just any story, so even if you wanted to, you will not forget. You will continue to hear and read this story and every time you do you will feel the same anger, and pain, and fear that you first felt.

Obiamaka Ngozichukwu Orakwue did everything right. She was a fourteen-year-old girl about to enter her final year in Junior Secondary School. She would have been a “senior of the juniors”, preparing for her Junior WAEC exams, thinking about whether to go for Science or Art class in a year when she got into Senior Secondary School.

Obiamaka Ngozichukwu Orakwue did everything right. While her other siblings went to spend the holiday with their uncle in Lekki, Obiamaka stayed home in Abule Ado to help with house chores. She was just back home for the holidays and her parents worked, so Obiamaka chose to stay and help around the house.

Obiamaka Ngozichukwu Orakwue did everything right. When the boys in the area began harassing her just after she got back home, she told her mother. She was a beautiful girl. Plump, rosy cheeks, button nose and a captivating smile. And somehow, those boys felt like they had a right to share in her beauty. And when she did not reciprocate, telling them off, ignoring their manner-less, uncultured and inappropriate “wooing”, they decided to take it by force.

They waited for her to be home alone, climbed in through the back fence of the house and raped Obiamaka Ngozichukwu Orakwue till she died. It was not enough to take her innocence, it was not enough to break her soul, they broke her body as well, and ran away.

It has been nineteen days since it happened, and Obiamaka Ngozichukwu Orakwue has been buried, but the devastation of what happened to her can never be. It will live on; for as long as her murderers remain free while the police continues to promise that they will be caught. For as long as there continues to be stories like hers; of young girls and women being assaulted by men who feel like they have a right to their bodies. For every story you read and hear about it; her devastation, their devastation, will become your own.

And of those stories there are many. Just take a look around you and see. One in four women has been or will be sexually assaulted, and it all begins from the thought that a woman’s body is property that a man is entitled to. For as long as there are men who think that, and men who say and do nothing to change that, women will never be safe.

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