Consent, crucial in sexual relationship – WRAPA

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Programme Officer Legal, Women Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA), an NGO, Ms Prisca Obika, says that sexual relationship among spouses not based on consent could be termed as rape.

Ms Obika, who disclosed this in an interview with the Nesmen in Abuja, described sexual relationship as interpersonal relationship that involves physical and emotional intimacy between a man and woman.
She explained that sexual consent is an agreement between two adults to participate in sexual activities.

“When a person has sexual intercourse with a woman or girl without her consent or a consent wrongly obtained through manipulation is called rape and has committed an offence of rape. “Before getting sexual with your partner, there have to be agreement, thus any sexual activity which includes vagina or anal penetration, oral sex, among others, between couples is sexual assault or rape.

“However, marriage is a union between two adults and when a woman and man gets married, both of them are supposed to submit themselves totally to one another. “Situations could arise where the woman returns home exhausted and not in the mood for any sexual act, if her husband decides to use force, without her consent, that becomes rape,’’ she said.

The legal practitioner also stated that manipulation in any relationship could be attributed to rape.
According to her, when a man blackmails his girlfriend saying “if you love me you will have sex with me, or prove your love for me by having sex with me”, is unacceptable.

“Dropping substance in her drink or putting her in a vulnerable position to have sex with her, such level of coercion to get her consent, is an act of rape.

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“ The Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law (VAPP) law is available to address issues of gender based violence, harassment, rape and challenges militating against rights of women,’’ she said.

She declared that sex was more of psychological than physical, adding that when both partners are in agreement they enjoy it more. Ms Obika therefore advised spouses to always work as team mates and understand their desires especially in sexual relationship.

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