More tips have continued to come from the police on how rape victims could help in nailing their attackers afterwards, the most critical being that they must leave the scene intact.
Frank Mba, spokesperson of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) who spoke on a TVC programme on Thursday, said the steps to be taken included that the victim must not even take her bath or flush the toilet and must not urinate unless she could not help it.
He emphasised that late report of rape cases and contamination of crime scenes are the major reasons most sexual assault cases are not successfully prosecuted, adding that some rape victims were even guilty of withdrawing the allegations after collecting money from their attackers.
Hear him: “Rape is a very serious criminal offence and rape it is not fun. Rape is not sex. Rape is not lovemaking. Rape is violence. It is a very extreme form of torture. It is a life-threatening event. It is totally humiliating. As a matter of fact, you can define rape as robbery of another persons essense, dignity and the worst form of assault on any woman. It is a serious thing.
“Unfortunately for us, it is one of those crimes that has posed a lot of problems in managing, in presenting, in investigating sometimes and in successfully prosecuting.
“Most cases of rape are unreported. As a matter of fact, some statistics say between 60% to 90% of rape cases are unreported. It is even worse when they are cases that has to do with incest and molestation of children. A lot of these cases are unreported.
“The fundamental problems for us as investigators are three. Number one is the fact that a lot of rape cases are reported very late and the fact that they are reported late, it impacts on the quality and the success of investigations. The longer you stay in reporting a rape case, the higher the probability or the chances that evidence and the crime scene will be mismanaged.
“Although there is no status bar limiting the time you can report a rape case, you can even report twelve months later, but the earlier you report a rape case, the better and higher the chances of success.
“As a matter of fact, in most crimes, how the crime scene is managed determines the success of investigations and people must remember that rape cases are even very special in the sense that in a rape case, there are two immediate crime scenes.
“The first crime scene is place where the crime took place whether it is in a room, a car, a bush path or in a church like the case of Uwa. That particular place where the crime took place is a major crime scene.
“The second crime scene is the body of the woman. In fact the body of the victim is a walking crime scene. It is a living crime scene. It is a mobile crime scene. And how we manage both the physical as well as that living crime scene will determine the success of an investigation.
“Let me give a few tips on how we can manage this because often times, before the police get to the crime scene, a lot of persons have messed up the crime scene.
“Whenever there is a rape, the first thing is to leave the physical crime scene intact. Don’t adulterate them, don’t take anything out of the place, don’t alter the position of any object, don’t touch anything. Don’t even flush the toilet.
“If there is a condom pack there or a used condom, don’t even touch it and for the woman, don’t shower, don’t douche. Don’t change your clothing and if it is a case where we suspect it is a date rape where probably drug was used or a drug facilitated rape, then the woman has additional responsibility to make sure that she doesn’t urinate except it is a situation where if she doesn’t urinate, she might suffer something. She will need to urinate in the hospital because the first urine after that incident might help us determine the kind of drug that was laced in her drink and if for example you suspect it is a drug-induced rape, don’t dispose any glass cup there or even the drink whether it is a wine. Leave it there for us.”