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Rape is a national crisis

MMEGI EDITOR
Botswana Police Service this week released deeply concerning statistics of rape in the country within a period of 16 days.

The reports shows that from December 20, 2019 until January 5, 2020, the police recorded 133 rapes as compared to 110 cases registered last year. These cases happened at different entertainment places, according to preliminary investigations. Botswana with a population of about 2, 2 million is a small nation to be afflicted by such alarming rape cases.

The latest statistics reflects that a woman was raped every three hours during time the under review. These were reported cases and there were possibilities that other rape cases were swept under the carpet at family level. Quite clearly, we are a broken society in which husbands rape their wives, grandchildren rape grandmothers, brothers rape sisters and the vicious circle does not end there. Even toddlers are now victims of rape. We are thus a society in which the Biblical Sodom and Gomorrah known for their wickedness are mirrored in our every day lives. Perhaps we need fire just like the people of ancient Palestine to be extricated from the sin of rape as a doomed society reminiscent of Sodom and Gomorrah.

There is something wrong with the boy child. We cannot afford to neglect the boy child anymore in our interventions to deal with malaise afflicting our society. The boy child is hurting inside and he is committing atrocious crimes. There is something wrong with his orientation and development. We need to build a boy child into a more responsible individual or else he will grow up as a thug.  But such a boy child must take responsiblity for his own existence and life. We cannot blame society for the failure of an individual to take responsibility.

When Botswana was nearly decimated by HIV/AIDS pandemic in the 1990s,

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the leadership of then President Festus Mogae declared the scourge a national crisis. It is high time the authorities sit down and brainstorm how to crackdown this crisis. Therefore, we are calling upon the law enforcement authorities, legislators, experts, Judiciary, Ntlo Ya Dikgosi, the community and all the stakeholders to address rape and moral decadence as a matter of urgency.

We need to look at the laws we should tighten, bail application in heinous crimes such rape and murder. One thing that we cannot all deny is that some of accused persons are repeat offenders on bail. They violate their bail conditions and end up committing some new crimes or similar crimes. May be we should tighten the laws and increase rape sentence from minimum of 10 years to life sentence in prison. For example, Sierra Leone last year declared rape scourge a national emergency and those convicted of sexual offences against minors would face life in prison. Rape destroys the victim’s dignity and some never recover from the experience and end up committing suicide hence we need a paradigm shift that will end this sexual violence against women. We should be proactive in preventing this crime and it is not yet late to eliminate it from our society. We should act before the police release another statistics on this offence.

 

Today’s thought

“Rape is one of the most terrible crimes on earth and it happens every few minutes. The problem with groups who deal with rape is that they try to educate women about how to defend themselves. What really needs to be done is teaching men not to rape. Go to the source and start there.”

 

– Kurt Cobain

 



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