Academic journal article Global Media Journal

Media Re-Victimization of Rape Victims in a Shame Culture? Exploring the Framing and Representation of Rape Cases in Nigerian Dailies

Academic journal article Global Media Journal

Media Re-Victimization of Rape Victims in a Shame Culture? Exploring the Framing and Representation of Rape Cases in Nigerian Dailies

Article excerpt

Abstract

This is a content analysis of three Nigerian Dailies - Daily Sun, Vanguard and Guardian newspapers to examine the framing and representation of rape cases in the newspapers. Among the objectives of the study are to find out the frequency of stories on rape reported in the Nigerian newspapers, to find out the sources of rape cases as reported in the Nigerian Newspapers, and to find out the dominant frame used in the stories on rape reported in the Nigerian newspapers. It was found that the dominant frame of rape stories in the newspapers was innocence frame which portrayed victims of rape as innocent of the crime rather than revictimisation frame which portrayed victims as responsible for the incident.

Key words: Framing, Representation, Re-victimisation, Rape.

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

Introduction

A cursory look at the series of unfolding events and developments the world over indicates that the globe is fast degenerating into crimes and crime-related offences. One of such crimes is that of men sexually abusing women and, in fact, forcefully having carnal knowledge of girls and women without their consent. For instance, India as a country has in recent time, continued to have its doses of not just rape cases but "gang raping" of powerless, defenseless and innocent women and girls by rapists and "the situation has become more or less chronic and satanic" (Ogbu 2014, p.2).In Nigeria, the same ugly scenario floods the nation and the Nigerian media, particularly the print media, are daily becoming awash with catalogue of incidents and stories of girls and women being not just sexually molested and abused but most wickedly descended on and raped without scruples leaving this poor victims wallowing in both physical and psychological trauma without urgent remedies even in the face of apparent enabling laws against such dastardly and inhuman crimes.These mindless cases of rape as have been reported in the Nigerian media, particularly newspapers, are legion. For instance, it was reported by one Mrs. Ngozi Ugwu that her seven year old niece was raped by three men, namely, Kazeem Mohammed (40 years old), Tobi Daramola (19 years old) and James Anieskin (19 years old) (Daily Sun Newspaper, Thursday 19th December 2013, p. 27). Equally, seventeen year old school girl was abducted in Benin, Edo State while returning from school by a gang of three men who confined her to their room and took turns of raping her (Daily Sun Newspaper, 10th January 2014, p.12). A pastor, Emmanuel Mathew, aged 50, who is the General Overseer of the Choice Bible Church was alleged to have raped three pupils, one was aged nine while the other two were both seven years (Vanguard Newspaper, Friday 25th October 2013, p.7). Worrisomely too, a virgin school girl at Ikorodu Lagos was lured into a room forcefully stripped naked and raped to coma by a gang of three (Daily Sun Newspaper, Thursday 31st October 2013, p.25). A police corporal, Anthony Onoja was dismissed from the Nigerian police force for raping a two-year-old girl (Daily Sun Newspaper, Wednesday, November 6th 2011, p.14). Again, a twenty-nine-year-old man, Masonter Iyange of Akwabo street, Zaki-Biam, Benue State was arraigned before a Makurdi chief magistrate court over charges of armed robbery and rape (The Guardian Newspaper, 6th June 2013, p.12).The above incidents are as pathetic as they are tear-evoking the situation, most worrisomely, is increasing by the day and lamenting (rape has renamed a recurring decided across the country)(Guardian Newspaper editorial, Thursday 6th June, 2004, p.12). The question here is do rape victims face another form of victimization, this time, revictimisation, in media reports based on choice of words used in framing the rape incidents?

Revictimisation of rape victims leads to violation which often occurs when the disregard for the victim can closely mimic the victim's experience at the hands of her assailant (Campbell &Raja, 1999, p. …

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