Activists and organisations have been at the forefront of sensitising communities around the world on issues of Gender Based Violence (GBV). GBV affects the girl child/women more than it affects the boy child/men.
Of course it cannot be ignored that the boy child and men do experience it, although statistics show that women and the girl-children are the ones who bear the brunt the most. Gender Links has perhaps been the most active campaigner to end GBV alongside other non-governmental organisations.
It is heart-breaking that with so many campaigns against GBV, there are still men out there who still defile young girls and rape women. Cases of defilement and rape seem to be on the rise in the country.
Shockingly, some of those who do these dastardly acts are community leaders who are expected to lead by example. How do we expect the society to change and start treating women and the girl-child with respect when some of our leaders are dyed-in-the wool perpetrators of these ugly acts?
To make matters worse, some of these bullies find a way of escaping prosecution, which obviously is quite sickening.
The Monitor came across some information that a young girl was raped by her stepfather on Friday. This is someone she trusted and looked up to
Unfortunately, there are still shallow-minded people in our society who still argue that sometimes women bring rape upon themselves, basing their arguments on the dress codes and other circumstances, which include accepting gifts from men. A woman’s dress code or decision to accept gifts from an individual of the opposite sex, does not in any way give anyone the right to sexually assault a woman or a young girl. We have heard stories of devils in sheepskins who entice little girls with sweets and other material things, all for their evil intentions of defiling them.
It’s time, for the community and other activists, to get together and lobby for stiffer penalties on rapists, and those who defile children. The minimum rape sentence of 10 years should be reviewed and raised significantly, which maybe will discourage these men from inflicting life long psychological damage on their victims.
Most rape victims carry the scars for the rest of their lives. So why should perpetrators of rape serve a slap -in-the-wrist sentence of 10 years?