SA’s attitude about rape needs to change

2018-09-25 06:01

To the editor

RAPE is not a crime that only hurts someone for a moment but shatters their entire life. This means that most victims never fully recover from being a victim of such a devastating act.

The attitudes we possess and the behaviour we exemplify create an atmosphere that tolerates and downplays rape.

One prominent example concerns blaming the victim. We tend to focus on what the victim was wearing, drinking or doing, and this shifts the focus away from the victimiser. This implies that individuals should censor themselves to avoid being assaulted, that somehow the victim is responsible.

Several victims cannot cope with the fact that they have been raped and resort to suicide as an escape from the shame and pain that they feel, unfortunately increasing the rates of suicide in the country.

Additionally, most rape cases are not reported because most of the time it is more damaging to go to court as the victim than it is for the offender. If we set aside our differences and challenge stereotypes, perhaps we can undo the attitudes and behaviours that continue to reinforce rape. I suggest that police officers take immediate and proper action when rape cases are reported. The government should change the legal process when dealing with such crimes and our mentality needs to be changed when it comes to rape.

Our daughters are endangered in this country and instead of the perpetrators being jailed for life, we go about blaming women generally. So, for me, it should be life imprisonment. Anything else falls short. It is never too late to save our country. If we come together as one nation, we can stop this epidemic.

YASMINA SADECK

Durban

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