Why rape cases may increase during pandemic

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Is covid surging rape cases or have these cases always existed?

Amidst pandemic, there have been trends of rape cases both in and outside Nigeria.

Yesterday, 31st May, 2020, a 22-year-old female student of University of Benin, Nigeria, died in the hospital after being gang raped and severely beaten with a fire extinguisher in a church near her house three days earlier.

Earlier, on May 30, The Police arrested 11 men for allegedly raping a 12-year-old girl in Jigawa State.

Another case is Jennifer, an 18-year-old girl who was raped by five male “friends” in Kaduna State.

Although all of these cases are in Nigeria, there have also been recent cases of rape outside the country.

In India, a 45-year-old man raped his 1-year-old neighbour’s daughter on May 29, 2020.

These recent trends of rape cases pose a question of whether the pandemic is prompting these cases or if they have always been these high? In Nigeria, Federal Government estimates that over two million girls and women in Nigeria are being raped yearly. If this report is rapeclose to being true, then there are many more cases that are happening without being reported.

Nevertheless, the coronavirus pandemic may increase the number of rape cases. A recent research by the United Nations revealed that the pandemic may lead to increased cases in child marriage, domestic violence and female genital mutilation. While the report was not particular about rape, cases of gender-based violence generally are likely to increase and so also, the efforts to reduce and prevent them are likely to revoke due to the pandemic.

During the pandemic, offenders have opportunity to spend more time with victims due to stay at home orders. Victims on the other hand can hardly get help as many organizations are held back due to social distancing and movement restrictions. With this, rape cases may definitely increase.

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