Rising rape cases worry Ramotswa police

Close Up Of Man Hands Holding A Woman Hands For Rape And Sexual Abuse, Anti-trafficking And Stopping
Close Up Of Man Hands Holding A Woman Hands For Rape And Sexual Abuse, Anti-trafficking And Stopping

The high prevalence of rape is giving Ramotswa police headache with one or two cases reported every weekend.

The country is faced with this social problem as women continue to live in the deepest fear of rapists and lovers causing harm to them and Ramotswa village has not been spared. Though everyone has the right to live their lives freely, it is not the case for Ramotswa women who live in perpetual fear.

In an interview with Mmegi, Ramotswa police station commander, superintendent Keoagile Tau disclosed to have seen an increase in rape cases prior to the lifting of State of Emergence (SoE). Tau said even though he does not have readily available statistics to support his statement, he has been recording one to two rape cases every weekend. “The illegal sale of alcohol especially home brews has been a concern since 2020 ahead of lockdowns and the alcohol ban also contributed. But since the SoE was lifted, we have seen an increase in rape cases, which mostly occur when people retire from entertainment places,” Tau explained. He identified most of the cases as date rape with perpetrators often being casual friends or individuals who victims are familiar with like ex-boyfriends, boyfriends or casual friends.

Tau stated that usually the perpetrators would on the fateful day had spent some time with their victims, entertaining them, showering them with goodies, and later demanding sex in return. He said the cases are a concern because victims usually would claim that the perpetrators were their ex-lovers whilst the other party would tell a different story. “The victim would claim the perpetrator was their ex-lovers but the latter would claim to have had consent and were still in a relationship. I am pleading with men to respect women no matter what because there should be consent between the two parties,” Tau said.

He added that having spent the day or night with someone and buying her alcohol does not give men the right to sexually assault women. He called on men to respect themselves and know that ‘no’ means ‘no’. “In one of the recent cases, a young woman said she was hitchhiking to Kanye and the man who offered her a lift asked to pass by Lobatse to pick something and on the way she was offered beers and the duo ended up spending the entire afternoon and night together drinking alcohol and later he demanded sex,” he said.

He stated that in another case, the woman claims to have met the suspect at a bar, spent sometime with him and later offered to drop her home, but whilst on the way he drove with her to his place where he forced himself on her. Furthermore, Tau said in another case, the woman claims the suspect being his ex-boyfriend came to her place unannounced and demanded sex. “The majority of these cases usually occur when both parties are under the influence of alcohol, something which makes our investigations a bit difficult as the perpetrators would claim to have obtained consent from the victims and even accused them of extortion,” he said.

However, Tau said efforts are in place to fight the surge in rape cases indicating plans to hold community outreach programmes targeting entertainment places where most of the cases emanate from, to sensitise members of the community about rape especially men who are usually the perpetrators.

Editor's Comment
Everyone should be on high alert

Close to half a million people in the country have been fully vaccinated while over 800,000 have received their first doses. Botswana has tackled tough hurdles, but the race is far from over.Batswana are gearing up for the holidays and there will be a lot of movement across the country and outside the country. Social gatherings are back in full force and now more than ever, people should observe COVID-19 protocols.Our neighbouring country South...

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