A vicious five-member gang rape was apparently filmed by the perpetrators in Nigeria and Change.org is seeking petition signers to to help bring justice to the unidentified female victim. An Abia State University student was brutally assaulted by multiple men in the middle of August and there is now a search to help the unknown woman. Activists, bloggers, and Change.org member Adetomi Aladekomo started an online petition to help the female who was raped. Aladekomo started the petition at the university and is also seeking response from state officials. People have put up reward money and used video imaging software to attempt to identify the victim and perpetrators. So far, the local police have essentially denied that the rape took place. In Nigeria, rapes are often unreported and underprosecuted. Women's groups fear that the police are out to silence the victim enabling the culture of shame and fear when it comes to rape to continue in the region.
Aladekomo hopes that with the world watching, the rape victim will feel safe enough to come forward and others who suffered from rape will speak out as well. You can still sign the petition and learn more here.
Update: The commisioner for the police at Abia State said two men were taken into custody after activists and online bloggers posted pictures and names on the Internet in connection with the rape. The online campaign forced the police to uncover clues that may have given way to the identity of the attackers. On Thursday the Nigerian police national assembly reopened the case and three days later, based on names and photos posted online, two men were arrested. The rape victim appears to have been located and a woman's group is trying to get the victim out of the university in order to seek treatment. The campaign is working to make rape more high profile in a country where it is not seen as a serious crime.
The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.