When Sade was approached by her class rep on behalf of Prof. Igun, she laughed the offer of an A in exchange for sex off. A semester after the offer, Sade has taken her mind off the offer and has no qualms going to Prof. Igun’s office to submit an assingnment. Prof asks her to lock the door after herself because his air conditioner is off. After she drops her assignment, Prof asks Sade to get him a book from his shelf. Her back is turned to him and she doesn’t know that he has sneaked up behind her until her pulls up her blouse and bra in one swift move. She is too stunned to speak as the Prof squeezes her exposed breasts. There is knock on the door followed by the booming voice of Prof Alimi, the Dean and Iguns good friend. Igun pulls down Sade’s blouse and opens the door. Sade leaves the office. A month later, there is a faculty student lecturers meet. The dean, Prof Alimi encourages female students to come forward to report cases of physical and sexual assault. Sade’s friend Bisi who is also aware of the incident is sitting beside her. Sade’s hand begins to go up but Bisi tells her beneath her breath not to try it. None of the students comes forward to lodge any complaint. After the meeting, Sade tells Bisi to be careful because Igun is the dean’s bosom friend. Any report against Igun would mean disaster for Sade. Bisi reminds Sade that she must be grateful since ‘nothing really happened’. Sade walks away wondering if she had actually been assaulted and what she should do. What do you think Sade should do? Can Prof Igun’s act be proven? Is it assault? Please comment on this fictitious scenario.

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I think often in these scenarios the girl who has been harassed thinks she is the exception, however in these cases there are often many girls who have been harassed by the same person. No one says anything because they think they are alone and no-one would believe them. I would advise for Sade to spread the word among the other female students and convince the women to complain as a group, this will reduce the power of 'his word against hers' and will force the dean to take action. Ultimately if you have enough women and a willing lawyer you could then threaten the college with a class action suit. There is a great film about this process which could spark conversation in this scenario. It is called North Country http://northcountrymovie.warnerbros.com/

Clothilde

I agree with Clothilde, an almost similar scenario happened in a public university in Kenya. The lecturer had been doing this for a long while, and three girls came together. He had been accused over the years of similar acts, but no disciplinary action had ever been taken. Thus the pile up of accusations of sexual assault over the years, plus the girl’s accusations, forced the dean to take action.

The case will be stronger for Sade if she gathers other female students and complain as a group. It is an unfortunate situation, but if she does it alone, it will be a case of her word against his. But there could be other girls before her, who may have complained, about him. His sexually assaulting Sade means he has done that before and is very likely to do it again.

I still think Sade should file a complaint, most universities provide forums where students can launch complaints of sexual assault. Thus even if Sade is not able to get other students who have experienced the same, she should still tell someone of her case. Even if no action is taken against the lecturer which will be very unfortunate, it may discourage him from doing the same to anther girl, or it may lead to a kind of pile up situation, like in the case I have just explained.

Any unwelcome, forced or manipulative move or act towards a person in a sexual manner is assault therefore she should report to the relevant authority, perhaps she may be the voice of many other girls who have suffered in silence. A Kenyan lawyer, formerly a nominated MP tells her story at the African Union headquarters. There were cases of sexual assault and solicitations until she filed a complaint. By the time she left, there were guidelines put in place to address such matters. Silence is betrayal so speak up girl, power to the girls!

I agree with Kagwi - ACT NOW. Talkin from experience...it happend to a close friend of mine and we didnt do anything about it. I wanted to report it to the police but my friend blamed herself for what happend - since the guy was a friend of hers. Regardless of the Professors position - She should still go ahead and make the complaint...Don't let a bully push you around - Do something about it...one things for sure you not the only one his been assaulting, so you should open a door where all else will come out.

Oh well, your fictitious scenario depicts an almost everyday real life scenario all over the world. For most, the situation you described is a clear cut case of sexual harassment, even though she willingly went to his office on her own accord, he touched her in an inappropriate way without her consent. I know of a contemporary who suffered same fate, hers was a lot worst. She was saddled with failing grades in almost all her course and was at the brink of withdrawal. We were lucky to have had a very decent man who was the dean of faculty of law. She went to the dean and explained her predicament to him. The dean decided to work with her.

The said girl taped a couple of her conversations with the professor where his made several sexual denotations, threats of her failing all her courses if she didnt have sex with him, he went as far as saying her life will be so miserable in the faculty as all the other professors were his buddies. After roping himself in with his implication statements, The girl turn in the tape to the dean. The dean was solidly behind her, the matter was taken before the school senate, a committee was set up to investigate further. Guess what? the professor was found guilty and kicked out of the University. The dean continued to pay special attention to the victim, following up her grades and all to make sure his buddies did not victimize her and she graduated from the faculty.

I know this is one of the few success stories around but Sade can still go forward and report the prof. First she should talk to other student and investigate if others have suffered the same fact and together they can sign a petition to call for the investigation of the immoral prof. Someone has to speak up else matters like these will always be swept underneath the carpet.

All is needed is one strong voice and Sades' could be that one strong voice to speak for the voiceless.

Peace! Fatima

I think Sade needs to take a bold stand on this entire issue. Sade should discuss all such assault things within her peer group as she is not the only girl whose been asssaulted. Then all girls those who share similar experience and those whose not because it can happen to any girl out there; should come together to raise voice aganist such a shamful, ridiculous and disgusting thing. I am making such suggestion because unity of girls making such accusation against prof would made an impact on concerned authority to think and to take indispensable action aganist prof.

Hi Ola

I disagree that it is fictitious as i know very well that things like this and even worse happen in most nigerian universities.

i think it will take the bold step of one for all to stand this barbaric acts against the dignity of a woman. Sade was harassed she cant complain and see what happens next.

Oluwaseun