Rape Blame?

In December 2014, I attended SAYWHAT’s National Student’s Conference on Sexual and Reproductive Health rights at the Great Zimbabwe University, Mashava Campus in Masvingo.

Out of all the activities we undertook, I found the highlight of the conference to be an insight into the personal life of a young woman who was raped several times by a family member when she was below the age of 10 and the debate on abortion graced by Zbc Tv.

On tomorrow’s installment I will look at the issue of abortion as discussed at last year’s conference.

Now I found myself deeply riled by the fact that in this day and age we still have people, in fact, women that are bent on blaming victims of rape for having been raped.

The young woman who was raped shared her story of how she was raped at a very young age by a man whom the family deeply trusted. When it was time for people to ask questions and comment one woman stood up and said it was quite unfortunate that young girls do not listen when being advised on the kind of relations-friendships they should have with the opposite sex.

I found it sickening to say the least. My hand was not picked unfortunately so I could vent out my disappointment at the woman.

We certainly cannot have progress in as far as realising sexual and reproductive health rights is concerned when we have people who still believe rape victims, young children especially are to blame for being subjected to such ordeals.

A child does not have the ability to understand that she is being sexually assaulted. A child might even find it amusing or think its a game.

One child that I know of even became hooked to sucking a family member’s manhood on a daily basis as she did not know she was being abused.

The young lady who was raped says she has a little daughter now. She specifically looked for a school where her daughter would be taught on sexual and reproductive health. She makes sure her daughter knows that she cannot allow anyone or keep quiet when someone touches her breasts, buttocks, vagina or any other part of her body.

This I think is the better approach in dealing with children and their sexual health.

Society has to do away with blaming rape victims and concentrate on doing away with men that cannot hold their knobkerries zipped in and only zip them out where they are welcome.

If we blame rape victims then we can never bring rapists to justice.

Instead if we do away with appropriate and inappropriate and allow girls to embrace their sexuality without shame then we are a step ahead in doing away with sexual violence.

Myself on the left, Kudakwashe Muhlanga(centre) and Sally Chiavesara (right) from Botswana in Masvingo.
Myself on the left, Kudakwashe Muhlanga(centre) and Sally Chiavesara (right) from Botswana in Masvingo.

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