Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said victims of sexual abuse should be seen as victims, and not made to take the blame.
This, Osinbajo said while speaking at a webinar on Anti-Sexual Harassment themed “Finding Safe Spaces for Female Students in Nigerian Universities” organized by the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife.
He said sexual abuse victims are not the architects of their fate especially by their attitude, dressing or willingness to be in a compromising place with their violators.
A statement released by Laolu Akande, the Vice President’s media aide read;
OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT
WE REJECT NOTION THAT SEXUAL HARASSMENT VICTIMS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ABUSE, SAYS OSINBAJO
*Adds: “offenders should be visited with the strictest possible consequences”
The notion that victims or potential victims of sexual harassment are architects of their fate especially by their attitude, dressing or willingness to be in a compromising place with their violators is wrong and should be resisted in every situation. The victim must always be seen as the victim and not to be blamed.
This was the views of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, in his contributions on Wednesday at a webinar on Anti-Sexual Harassment themed “Finding Safe Spaces for Female Students in Nigerian Universities”, organized by the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife. The event was based on the book authored by notable journalist and former presidential spokesman, Mr Olusegun Adeniyi, titled NAKED ABUSE: SEX FOR GRADES IN AFRICAN UNIVERSITIES.
He said the victims should always be seen as the victim, adding that there is no excuse, especially with the power configuration between students and lecturers, that the victim could have somehow invited the abuse upon themselves.
He further advocated stricter punishments for rape offenders especially in situations involving lecturers and their female students.
Continuing, the Vice President said “there is also the comparison sometimes made between demanding bribes for service and sex for grades. Sometimes people will argue that a bribe is a bribe and there is no reason why the punishment for sex as the currency of the bribe, should be stricter than an ordinary bribe.”
While reacting to Adeniyi’s book, Osinbajo called for the need for developing and adhering to a set of ethical codes of conduct for conversations and interactions involving lecturers and students in universities.
He expressed hope that this would greatly address the problem.
“It is important that these are clearly defined in ethical guidelines that are contained in some documents that people can refer to and see. It is important both for the lecturer and the student that there is some reference to some code of conduct.”