Experts have called for early psychological counselling and proper treatment for survivors of rape to avert serious long term health consequences.
The experts, Prof. Adetokunbo Fabamwo, Chief Medical Director, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, and Immediate past President, Healthcare Providers Association of Nigeria, Dr. Adenike Olaniba, said only proper counselling and treatment can help reduce the psychological impact of rape.
According to the experts, survivors of rape usually carry the burden of the incident throughout their lives, if left untreated or not properly treated.
Speaking with PUNCH HealthWise in an exclusive interview on Friday, Fabamwo noted that rape comes with lots of health consequences on the survivors and therefore, should be discouraged.
The professor explained, “Survivors of rape carry that burden throughout their lives. Some of them drastically change their attitude to sex. Some of the women become frigid.”
“They no longer enjoy sex. They no longer desire sex in their marriage and they are unable to satisfy their husbands because each time the sex process wants to start, they are reminded of the rape experience and they suddenly grow cold.”
“So, survivors of rape must have early psychological counselling so that they don’t suffer these health consequences later in life.”
“There must be a special arrangement made to organise psychosocial therapy for survivors of rape so that they will disabuse their minds that all men are bad and to also disabuse their minds that all men are rapists, including their husbands.”
The LASUTH CMD also recommended that minors who have been defiled be taken for psychological counselling, adding that there are trained child psychologists on ground that could handle such cases.
“Minors should go for psychological counseling as well. There are child psychologists. They will know what to do,” he said.
The CMD urged mothers to ensure that the environment is safe for their female children, as part of measures to reduce their risk of rape and sexual violence.
“Don’t keep your children in the care of one uncle that is jobless. The school that your children go to, you must be familiar with the teachers because we have cases of teachers touching children here and there. Pay attention to the safety of your children”, he counselled.
Commenting on punishment for rapists, Fabamwo called for long-term imprisonment, instead of castration, arguing that the crime of rape is a very heinous one.