Expert tasks FG, police on rape, sexual abuse

• Recommends psychological assessment, treatment before trial

Worried by the rising incidence of rape and several cases of sexual abuse, the Federal Government and law enforcement agencies, especially the police have been urged to always ensure that culprits are sent for psychological assessment and appropriate treatment in mental health institutions before their trial.

Keeping them in prison custody for long, according to experts, may aggravate the problem, as they are likely to constitute security risk to themselves and others.

Professor of Clinical Psychology, Department of Behavioural Studies, Redeemer’s University (RUN), Ede, Osun State, Prof. Ebenezer Olutope Akinnawo, stated this at the third Inaugural Lecture Series of RUN, titled: The Masquerade Of A Sweet Poison: Occupational Psychopathology.”

He said rape culprits should always be perceived as sick and needed to be urgently treated by metal health experts. While noting that rape is an extreme case of psychological sexual behaviour, he claimed that the behaviour might likely be precipitated by the lingering economic crisis and the country’s eroded value system.

“Going through pages of our newspapers and noting the age disparity between the perpetrators and the victims of this abnormal behavior; for instance 65 -year-old perpetrator versus six-year -old victim, and the status of the perpetrators, like landlords, teachers, clergymen and community leaders, among others, you will agree with me that rape is a psychopathological sexual behaviour.

“Psychopathology is a global problem. The World Health Organisation (WHO), estimates that about 154 million people suffer from depression, 25 million from schizophrenia, 91 million from alcohol use disorder and 15 million from drug use disorder. Recent studies show that about 64 million Nigerians manifest psychopathological disorder,” he revealed.

The don added that after physical examination and treatment, victims should be referred to Clinical Psychologists for psychological assessment and appropriate psychotherapy, noting that such referral will serve as a preventive measure to serious psychopathology in the nearest future.



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