Psycho men preying on us

2009-10-31 13:43

AS a woman living in this cruel world where saying “no” to someone is a crime, I know that what happened to journalist Shadi Rapitso could be my fate as well.

There could be someone, known to me or not, who feels that I am his property and that no other man can have me.
 
The scariest part is that all this could be happening right under my nose without me even knowing about it.

It is at this moment that I think of the many times I have brushed off warning signals from potential stalkers.

Apart from the heavy breathers who would call me in the middle of the night, there is one ­incident that stands out in my mind.

This guy would wait for me at the train station every day to carry my school bag and walk me home. He looked like the thug he was. The only reason I agreed was that I was afraid of him.

In a harsh tone, while pulling my hand, he would tell me how I was wasting his time by not accepting his love proposal.
Then, in a sweet tone, he would assure me that he would never hit me like all the other girls he had hit before, because he knew I was beautiful and clever enough to do the right thing.
 
Of course I would ­never have been his girlfriend, but I thought it was safer to keep him around. The last time I saw him he was in the back of a ­police van.

I still do not think I would have done anything about this guy even though I felt unsafe around him.

The thought of what he would have done to me if I hadn’t “obeyed” him scared me the most.

Unfortunately women are still frightened.

We are scared to report a potential stalker because his advances are “not that bad”.

We go on “just one date” to please a man. We are afraid to tell a guy to go to hell because we would be labelled as “bitches”.
A friend said that doing the opposite to all the above would still pose a threat to a ­woman’s life. So the bottom line is that women are trapped.

Chances are that if you report a stalker or turn down a date, you could be signing your life away.

Women can unfortunately no longer ­afford to believe that not all men are dogs. We need to start taking this fight as personally as these perpetrators do when they rob us of our souls. Because in this world we live in, psychos don’t come with warning signs on their foreheads.

If they did, Shadi would still be alive.

Mapiloko is a reporter for City Press’s investigative unit

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