Student cultists, lecturers major culprits in rape, sexual abuses on campus – Survey

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.22% of female students in UNILAG are perpetrators

The Africa Polling Institute (API) and Heart Minders Advancement Initiative have released a collaborative Survey Report on Rape and Sexual Abuse on Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria.

The survey report, which focused on six tertiary institutions in Lagos state, has indicates that student cultists and lecturers are the major perpetrators of rape and sexual abuses on campuses of tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

A copy of the report which was made available to crimefacts.news corroborates the recent BBC Africa Eye Documentary on Sex-for-Grades, which busted the “open secret” culture of sexual harassment in Universities in Nigeria and Ghana.

In his executive summary, the Executive Director of the Institute, Dr. Bell Ihua noted that

authorities of tertiary institutions in Nigeria have not done much in addressing the menace; with anecdotal evidences revealing that some authorities even rebuff reports of sexual abuse and harassment in the spirit of collegial camaraderie. And in some cases, students who reported such cases are further victimized by the same academics, their colleagues, and often the institutions.

According to Ihua, the study sought to: (1) examine perceived prevalence of rape and sexual abuse on tertiary institutions, (2) identify reasons for the prevalence and the major perpetrators, (3) measure support for legislation against the menace, and (4) proffer solutions to curbing these reprehensible acts.

He said: “Using the convenience sampling technique, a face-to-face survey was conducted on Six Tertiary Institution Campuses within Lagos State, Nigeria’s cosmopolitan city. The following institutions were visited: University of Lagos (UNILAG), Lagos State University (LASU), Yaba College of Technology (YABATEC), Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), Federal College of Education (TECHNICAL) Akoka (FCTAKOKA), and Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education Ijanikin (AOCOED). A total of 1,642 completed interviews were conducted between August 6th and 20th 2019, with all respondents aged 18 years and older.  

Ihua said: “The survey revealed that there is a high prevalence of rape and sexual abuse across the six focal tertiary institutions studied; as about 61% of students acknowledged the prevalence of sexual abuse on campus, compared to 56% who acknowledged the prevalence of rape. The data suggests that Sexual Abuse is more prevalent than Rape in tertiary institutions; with a 5% difference in prevalence between sexual abuse (61%) and rape (56%).

“The survey also sought to understand the reason for the prevalence of rape and sexual abuse on Nigerian campuses. In response, 63% of respondents (who are themselves students) ascribed the prevalence to the increased rate of “Inappropriate and indecent dressing”, especially by female students on campuses. This was followed by those who cited: the increasing rate of drug and substance abuse (36%); Uncontrolled sexual urges (12%); Peer pressure (5%); Cultism (4%); Inadequate campus security (4%) and Indiscipline on the part of some students and lecturers (4%).

Furthermore, the survey revealed that almost 8 in 10 students interviewed (79%) identified “Female Students” as the main victims of rape and sexual abuse or harassment on campuses; while Student Cultists (33%), Fellow Male Students (29%) and Male Lecturers (21%) were identified as the major perpetrators of these reprehensible acts of rape and sexual abuse. Curiously, 14% of respondents stated that some Female Students are also perpetrators of sexual abuse on campus; thus highlighting that the act isn’t carried out by the men alone, but in some cases, women are also involved.

In addition, the survey revealed that while “Student Cultists” were identified as the main perpetrators of rape and sexual abuse in LASPOTECH (50%) and Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education [AOCOED] (41%); “Male Lecturers” were identified as the main perpetrators in YABATEC (25%), UNILAG (24%) and FCTAKOKA (23%). More so, those who indicated fellow Female Students as perpetrators were mainly in UNILAG (22%).

Finally, on what needs to be done to address the prevalence of rape and sexual abuse on campuses, respondents suggested the following: more public enlightenment and advocacy again rape (37%); restriction of indecent and inappropriate dressing, especially on campuses (25%); strict prosecution of rape and sexual abuse offenders (21%); and tighter security within campuses (9%) amongst others. In addition, authorities of tertiary institutions have a huge responsibility of enforcing strict policies and guidelines aimed at curbing the incidence of campus cultism. These were the major findings from the survey.

.Table of summary

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