The police continue to record overwhelming rates of rape cases, which incidents are rampant countrywide. In a space of the two weeks of the festive holidays, the police recorded 110 cases of rape.
This shows that, while some NGOs and the Botswana Police Service (BPS) continue to educate the community, and speak against rape; it still remains one of the social ills affecting the communities. The Monitor Staffer, Pini Bothoko observes
BPS public relations officer, Dipheko Motube said statistics from crime overview for the festive season indicate that 110 rape cases were recorded from December 18, 2017 to January 3, 2018.
Motube revealed that in 2016 the police recorded only 138 cases of rape that year, but shockingly at the end of 2017, a total of 110 cases were recorded in a space of just two weeks.
He expressed concern over the rapid escalation of rape cases during the festive season. He said that most women were attacked and raped at night whilst walking alone from entertainment spots.
He added that most of the cases were recorded from December 24 to 25 and December 31 to January 2 being the main days of the festive season.
The police shared that in most cases women are raped while tipsy or intoxicated, explaining that some of the victims are attacked when walking home alone at night from a night of entertainment.
Motube said women should take care of and protect themselves, as they are more vulnerable compared to their male counterparts.
The police boss stressed the point that many women are raped under the influence of alcohol, something that results in the majority of them failing to identify their perpetrator(s).
“In some cases women are raped by the people they know or to have spent sometime with or had alcoholic beverages with, prior to the incident.
Women have the habit of going to the bars without money to buy themselves alcohol and depend on male strangers to purchase them alcohol, who mostly later in the night turn to forcefully demand sex from them without their consent.
I am pleading with women to budget for their alcohol and money for cabs to
He said that usually when the police plead with women to protect themselves to avoid becoming victims of rape incidents, such as date rape, they feel like they are being attacked. He emphasised that the police are in no way attacking women.
He said they are instead sensitising women to put their safety first at all times. He stated that women should get into the habit buying their own alcohol and also have a plan on how they will return home, to avoid being targeted by rapists.
He said that usually when people are excited from the holidays they let their guard down something that gives criminals the opportunity to attack.
Motube said the police do not condone rape at all, but emphasised that women should avoid walking alone and depending on strangers at night as they would fail to defend themselves whilst under the influence of alcohol, should the need arise.
The police boss said they have intensified public education through police exhibitions, kgotla meetings and the Itshireletse television show in which they sensitise people about crimes including rape, but their efforts seem to be going in one ear and out the other.
In the past, senior counsellor at Women Against Rape, Gabalape Tauejele, expressed concern over the escalating cases of rape despite their endless efforts to curb rape. Sharing the same sentiments as the police boss, Tauejele also called on women to avoid walking alone at night and depending on strangers for alcohol.
Tauejele stated that through their public education they usually target men and sensetise them about a variety of issues to avoid getting on the wrong side of the law.
He said that they always plead with men to desist from thinking that after buying women alcohol they will get something in return.