I am a man. I have zero tolerance to rape in all its forms. I am sure all men should as well come out now to stand against Rape.
If a governor’s daughter, king’s daughter, religious leaders’ daughter is raped, the response to the case will not be addressed the way community leaders, religious leaders and governments at all levels have been handling such cases.
Painful part is the way and manner that the families of the victims have always been agreeing to settling the case of rape out of court. Even some police officer do advice that the victims and the perpetrators should go and settle cases as a family matter – especially when it involves siblings or father to mother or incest – father and daughter and among siblings.
Rape is rape. When there is no consent from a wife, it is rape. Dowry paid is not for raping. Using Biblical injunctions to keep perpetrators of rape in such unions is against the law of the land.
Rape culture is held up by the absence or lack of enforcement of laws addressing violence against women and discriminatory laws on property ownership, marriage, divorce and child custody.
Rape culture is allowed to continue when we buy into ideas of masculinity that see violence and dominance as “strong” and “male”, and when women and girls are less valued.
It is also underpinned by victim-blaming—an attitude that suggests a victim rather than the perpetrator bears responsibility for an assault.
When discussing cases of sexual violence, a victim’s sobriety, clothes, and sexuality are irrelevant. Instead, counter the idea that men and boys must obtain power through violence and question the notion of sex as an entitlement.
Rape culture is pervasive. It’s embedded in the way we think, speak, and move in the world. While the contexts may differ, rape culture is always rooted in patriarchal beliefs, power, and control.
Rape culture is the social environment that allows sexual violence to be normalized and justified, fueled by the persistent gender inequalities and attitudes about gender and sexuality. Naming it is the first step to dismantling rape culture.
Every day we have the opportunity to examine our behaviours and beliefs for biases that permit rape culture to continue. From the attitudes we have about gender identities to the policies we support in our communities, we can all take action to stand against rape culture.
There is need to establish policies of zero tolerance for sexual harassment and violence in the spaces in which we live, work, and play.
Leaders must be particularly clear that they are committed to upholding a zero-tolerance policy and that it must be practised every day. This will reflect in our leaders actions amidst monstrous increase in cases of rape in our society.
Why have we not heard the voices of religious leaders preaching against rape? Why are community leaders where perpetrators live not banishing such individuals in our society?
Why are government actions against rape not backed up with proactive measures to create a safety net for our women and girls?
Some of the best actions may be tagged as taking laws into our hands. For instance, burning perpetrators with used tyres immediately these happen; name and shame perpetrators; castrate or hang to death in public spaces.
We need a collective response to end rape. While typing this message, I am sure another case would have been reported. We can’t fold our arms and allow these evil to continue.
The victims are receiving blames left and right, condemnation on the types of clothes they wear, the places they go to read, the visits they make to mention a few. Yet perpetrators are defiling under 6months children in nappies and pampers. They are raping women in hijabs.
We need men to also rise in every community and decide what can be done to curb these ugly situations.
While commending the efforts of the state Police, Civil defence, Ministry of Justice and FIDA, civil society organizations and other actors on these cases, I will appreciate more government support in any form to end rape in our society