Monday, 22 April 2013

Rape: Who is to blame? Maximum Sentence for perpetrators!


The recent news headline on women being gang raped in India, in the CAR and Democratic Republic of Congo and recently the rape of my 8 year old niece, I thought it’s time I share my feelings. Like any other form of violence, women are dehumanised and blamed at the same time and many a time perpetrators get away with this.

With so many rape incidents worldwide, the courts have an important role to play in deterring violence against women. Drastic measures are needed. Rapists should get a maximum sentence once convicted and societies should really move away from blaming victims.

It is sad to think of how many women and children are deprived of their rights by sexual offenders, who all too often are their uncles, fathers, brothers, husbands, or supposed friends.

There is need to focus on preventing rape and other violent sexual offences and punish the perpetrators. Half the time witnesses are threatened (especially in South Africa). In some situation the violated women gets the blame. So in the end victims just suffer silently. This demands a shift in culture and in the way women and children are seen and treated. In Zimbabwe for example, the rank touts (mahwindi) attacks any woman they think is not properly dressed. I was victim to that when I went home and wore shorts in the blazing of Africa. I decide what I wear, not some good for nothing men who are only after controlling women.  Just another excuse for abusing women, I say.

Schools must do more to educate kids on sexuality and respect. Some of the kids especially from violent or dysfunctional homes would require the help of the educational system to impart an understanding of human rights to them.

Courts must also play their part by imposing harsh sentences for sexual offenders to send a message that these types of crimes will not be tolerated.

Governments should step up to defend the rights of women and children.

Let’s face it, something drastic needs to be done before we loose an innocent group of people  to sick men.

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