Of late, the increasing cases of rape have been topical amongst Batswana of different ages and sexes. Social media has been awash with debates on rape, which painfully seem to be growing on a daily basis.
While most of those who give their opinion or analysis on rape seem to differ in some aspects, there is some agreement that the perpetrators should be dealt with sternly. It is a good thing that there seem to be some level of agreement that the laws need to be harsh on rapists, protect the most vulnerable, and support those who have fallen victim to this heinous act of being violated by unscrupulous individuals, who in most cases are violent towards their victims.
The issue is of course tackled by different activists, feminists, those against Gender Based Violence (GBV), men and women from different walks of life, and law enforcers, especially the Botswana Police Service (BPS), which of late have amplified their voice against rape. When looking at different arguments/debates, there is no doubt that there is need for education across the board.
There are some who believe that the only problem with rape cases is rapists, while some argue that there are certain circumstances, which put victims in vulnerable situations that may put them in danger of being raped. This calls for intense dialogue, so that the two schools of thought can debate the issue and come up with comprehensive strategies on how to fight the ever-increasing rape cases.
This is an issue that has
BPS has time and again offered advice to women on how they can protect themselves from falling prey to rapists, one of which is to avoid walking alone at night, and ensuring that they have their own entertainment money as well as transport money, when they go out to pubs and night clubs. The advice, however, seems to be rubbing some people the wrong way who seem to think, it is making excuses for rapists, while blaming the victim.
Well, children are taught a lot of things when growing up, including not accepting things from strangers, as well as not to jump into strangers’ cars. Are these taught to excuse criminals who steal children (bo raboko) or may have intentions of harming children or to sensitise children on certain dangers?