GENDER: JUST DO NOT RAPE

13 Oct, 2018 - 00:10 0 Views
GENDER: JUST DO NOT RAPE

The Chronicle

 Bongiwe Nkomazana
What a woman or man wears is not an invitation to be harassed and assaulted. In my city, there are parts of town that you cannot walk in if you are dressed a certain way because you will be called out of your name and who knows what else.

In such a scenario if you were touched, you would most likely be blamed for applying for it by dressing in a certain way and I honestly believe that this perpetuates the stigma of rape and nurtures the rape culture.

It should stop. Despite common sense, morals and the continuous campaigns and all sorts of efforts against rape, it still happens.

According to the Quarterly Digest of Statistics (first Quarter 2018) released by the Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency, rape cases in Zimbabwe have remained high over the past four years.

Women make up the larger percentage of rape victims but the number of men who have been sexually assaulted keeps rising as well.

Today, it is reported that 1 out of 6 men has gone through some sort of sexual abuse or assault. This estimate could even be a low one because many other cases go unreported so are not recorded.

Rape is unforgivable because not only is it a violation of someone’s rights but the victim endures the immediate physical and mental trauma as the rape occurs and goes on to face a lot of psychological challenges after.

There was a thread on Twitter with the hash tag ‘why I didn’t report it’. Basically, it had women stating why they did not come forward to report that they had been sexually violated.

What caught my attention right off the bat is the number of women who participated on this thread.

Remember this is a public forum and to see women come forward like that was sad but it also was satisfying to witness how women are getting their power back by exposing all the malicious things that happen behind closed doors.

Then, I looked at the many different, beautiful faces that were sharing their painful experience and I realised that you never really know what God’s people are going through and the battles that they are fighting within themselves.

Finally, I saw that the most frequently mentioned reason for the victims’ silence, amongst being scared of their rapist and lack of faith in the judicial system, was the stigma that is attached to being a victim of the act.

Usually, when a person speaks up about being raped they carry the label throughout their lives.

Their community refers to them by their ordeal, their family members may be uncomfortable being around them and potential partners may be sceptical of being with a victim. The after effects of rape are truly unfair.

Unfortunately, the stigma of rape is so deep-rooted in, dare I say, African culture to a point where we do not even realise that our actions and words humiliate rape victims.

An example of comments that scream stigma and are still a bone of contention when it comes to rape are questions like “What were you wearing?”, “What were you doing?”, “Did you lead him on?” These questions are embarrassing and are infuriating because they suggest that a victim could be to blame for being raped.

There is absolutely no justification for rape.

What a woman or man wears is not an invitation to be harassed and assaulted. In my city, there are parts of town that you cannot walk in if you are dressed a certain way because you will be called out of your name and who knows what else.

In such a scenario if you were touched, you would most likely be blamed for applying for it by dressing in a certain way and I honestly believe that this perpetuates the stigma of rape and nurtures the rape culture.

It should stop.

Any grown individual should have self control. To be considered an adult means that at this point one naturally possesses the maturity to know what is right from wrong.

Unlike a child that will reach out for a flame, we adults know what is dangerous from what is safe, what is morally correct from what is immoral or dishonourable.

If a lion can be trained to walk with humans and not pounce on them then surely we, of superior reasoning should know to keep it in our pants.

I have never understood the idea of rape. Why a person (person because both men and women can be perpetrators) would turn an act that is supposed to be an intimate expression of genuine heart to heart feelings into a ruthless emotionless attack is beyond me.

Is it not better for both parties to both be excited to engage in the act?

Is the point of it all not to be happy at the end of the day and if you force yourself onto somebody, are you happy? Do you feel like you have accomplished a goal? Or maybe it is a matter of game? Do you just have no game and have shamefully failed to convince the people you are attracted to to be with you so you take them forcefully?

These are all the questions I wish I could get rapists to answer then maybe I could comprehend the state one will be in to be such a monster.

A monster that will look at a child and make the decision to take their innocence. A monster that thinks it is okay to scar another person and damage their outlook on life.

A monster that will threaten and manipulate a situation for sex. A monster that just does not understand that NO means NO.

I have hope in the human race but some of the atrocities that we commit on each other are unfathomable. We should do better ladies and gentlemen.

Did you know that in 2017, 60 percent of rape cases involved children below the age of 16 and the majority of perpetrators is still relatives and people of authority?  Be what you have been set out to be in this world.

Be the greatest uncle, teacher, supervisor, adoptive parent, and colleague or neighbour to the people around you.

Shine love and not hate and teach your children the same. We have enough issues as races that are beyond our control like natural disasters and to inflict pain on each other is unnecessary and inhumane. Do not rape, just do not do it.

Share This: