When his/her tangible belongings like money, clothes, wristwatch, car, jewelries, books, and other are stolen, the world agrees that the shame belongs to the thief.
When his/her intangible assets like intellectual property, reputation, identity are stolen, the world agrees that the shame belongs to the thief.
They even have a name for when your copyright is stolen. They call it plagiarism and it is treated as a thing of great shame for the one, who stole the copyright.
It is important to note that all of these tangible and intangible assets are replaceable, no matter the level of the pillage.
Those whose tangible and intangible assets do not need to be encouraged to speak up or receive any backlash from any member of society for doing the same.
Now, when his/her sexual innocence, essence, dignity and privacy is stolen through sexual assault, molestation, harassment, defilement or rape, the world has another standard in determining who the shame belongs to.
It is either the world concludes that the shame belongs to the one, who is robbed of this irreplaceable treasures of sexual dignity, which is a critical part of his/her dignity of human person or the world believes that the shame and even the blame must be shared.
This strange belief is so strong that the person affected by the inhumanity of sexual violence begins to feel guilty and ashamed to speak up and even seek redress. Those around him /her also encourage him/her to conceal the matter and work actively to support him/her to do the same. That is the kind of support that is often offered.
In most cases, it takes years for him/her to speak up and when he/she speaks up, the world also says why is he/she just speaking up now?
The affected person, even when he/she speaks up conceals the identity of the perpetrators, which is not done when tangible and intangible assets are stolen.
The world has perfected the evil act of finding fault with the affected person. What are you wearing? Why did you lead him/her on? Why did you visit him/her alone? Why did you take the drink?
We are not saying people should not exercise caution in their relationships, but it is a conversation for prevention and not of finding fault with the affected person.
Does anyone have an idea why the world thinks like this and what we can do to change this entrenched belief system my fellow Family Strengthening Parliametarian.
I am Taiwo AKINLAMI