Stop blaming rape victims

In recent part, I have read several heartbreaking stories.  I single out two—one about a woman raped by her father and another one about a four-year old girl defiled and left for dead.

The thought of a four-year-old girl being sexually assaulted and killed in the process by someone she perhaps trusted makes me wonder what has become of men in this country. According to the police report, the girl was lured into the bush where she was defiled and bled to death. It is believed the man who did this was from the same village as the victim because a friend of the victim who was with her was able to identify the man by name—meaning he was a well known person or even a close family friend of the victim.

This is what has become of our society. A society that is failing to protect the girl child. What sort of man looks at a four-year-old girl with erotic eyes? So many questions remain unanswered. I dare say that sometimes even the law enforcers have let down the girl child. It feels like there is no point sometimes in reporting the cases because the victim often is interrogated as though she is the perpetrator. I have heard of stories of police asking rape victims what happened for them to be raped. Really?

When the story of woman, in her 20s, broke out, many on social media platforms were quick to defend the man and put the blame of the girl. There, someone with no iota of shame, claimed women are raped because of the way they dress—mini-skirts.

Others said she was old enough ‘not to be raped’ and she might be faking the rape. Others had the audacity to say that the woman “looks like a loose girl”. In short, very few believed her story justifying that the man was innocent and might have been framed.

These are just some of the many reasons why most rape cases go unreported. The shaming of the victims does not help but exacerbate the psychological and physical torture they have suffered under the rapist. I wonder how people want a four-year-old girl to dress “so as not to sexually arouse” them.

Oftentimes this defending of the perpetrator is done by both men and women. I read one woman’s comment that she doubted if the man could have really raped the woman because according to her, the man looks so innocent. Sigh.

We can only hope that the police and the courts will ensure that justice is delivered. My heart bleeds for this little girl and the woman and others in similar situation. I pray that the perpetrators feel the wrath of the long arm of the law. To those who lay blame on the victims, you will never understand the psychological and physical trauma victims go through until it happens to someone close to you or you.

Bravo to those who refuse to be silenced by society and report these atrocities. If you know someone who has committed such a crime, report them to the police.

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