In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly declared that, the 20th February would be celebrated annually as World Day of Social Justice, to highlight the power of global solidarity to promote opportunity, development and human dignity for all.
In order to achieve social justice, economic systems around the world should promote key principles including equality, democracy, participation, transparency, accountability and justice. Structural inequalities are a factor that increase the risks to people in societies.
Below we hear from Sr Justina Nelson and the work of the Religious Sisters of Charity, in the Nigerian Region who joined voices with others across the world to condemn the spike in issues of rape in Nigeria and the entire world.
“We recently organized a demonstration tagged ‘No to Rape and Domestic Violence’. Those who participated included five Sisters of Charity, friends of the Sisters, colleagues, and collaborators in Kirikiri, Festac and Satellite. The purpose of the demonstration is to end rape and domestic violence in Nigeria. Rape is barbaric, rape is cruel, and rape is the abuse of the God given dignity of the human person. In fact, it is worse than armed robbery and should be criminalized as such. It robs the survivors of their dignity, breaks them to pieces and the effects of the trauma remains all through their entire life. The survivors live their entire life in dilemma.
The participants carried placards with the following inscriptions such as ‘Say No To Rape, Rape Is A Crime, Rape Equals Life Imprisonment, Say No To Emotional Abuse, Says No To Verbal Abuse, Domestic Violence Is A Criminal Offence, Say No To Psychological Abuse. Let the Government Take Action Now, Let the Security Personnel and Law Enforcement Agency Act with Justice and Integrity Regarding These Issues.’
Cases of rape are increasing every day. I believe it is there but hidden due to our culture of silence because it is an abomination, and something people feel should be kept secret. Thanks to the media who are highlighting the issue, rape is a crime that the perpetrators should carry the stigma of not the victims. No one likes talking about it. The number is increasing every day, even babies are not spared. We hear of three months old babies being raped by the father or grandfather. Thank God the media has brought it into the open.
The Government is not taking it lightly and many NGO’s are alert, and it makes sure that rapists are prosecuted. There are registers opened for the report of rape cases, however there are always new cases of rape. We stand against rape and pray for it to end.”
‘Rape is a gross violation of the sacredness of human body which is made in the image of God’.