The country is seemingly still in either shock or denial about sexual abuse cases that are consistently coming out into the open.
As the cases come out, there is always a cocktail of reactions, some nauseatingly abhorrent to the point of making one question the entire sanity and humanity of our society.
Recurring themes of shock and denial related to such cases are victim-shaming and attempts at justifying the act on the part of the male perpetrator.
First of all, at no point and under no circumstance is an adult supposed to violate a child by engaging with them in an act that they are not mentally and physically equipped to comprehend and engage in and consent to.
A lack of physical force during the incident does not equate to consent, enjoyment and comprehension. And, most importantly, it does not make it right or justifiable.
On top of this, some violators have the audacity to record victims while hiding their own faces. Sadly, we are living in a society that further circulates such images without thought or sensitivity towards the long term hurt, shame and violation of the victim and her family. This is as good as being an accomplice to the one that recorded. As they say, if you cannot do any good to a situation, at least do no harm.
Why have we become so comfortable and passive with sexual violence?
Secondly, there is the consistent justification of sexual violations by men attributed to physical desires. Every human being is susceptible to myriad desires on planet earth, but they also have the free will to act on them or not; we are not slaves to our desires.
Men who ‘choose’ to violate females based on their sexual desires have made a conscious choice to do so and, unless there is a problem with their cerebrum, they are totally aware of the act they are engaging in and the fact that it is wrong and it is with a minor or someone who has not given consent.
Such people should not be treated with kid gloves. Unless we want to label men in general wanton puppets of desire, then we can all be in agreement that this is a helpless matter and situation and strip them of any responsibility in the world.
But we all are aware that most men who commit such acts go about doing everything else according to norms and expectations of society; which means they are totally aware of what is wrong or right and they are not wanton puppets but individuals with autonomy.
It is funny when one thinks about our biases and prejudices when it comes to justice. People can literally batter a man who stole a goat to death through mob justice but have justifications about the ‘wanton desires’ of a man who has actively violated a young soul.
So the thief ’s desire for money or whatever he wanted to steal is less understandable but the one of an adult violating a minor is? It is sickening.
Let us call a spade a spade; rapists and molesters are not nice people and they are not slaves to desire; they are selfish and dangerous people and should be handled as such. Justice needs to be served for sexual abuse victims.
Sexual violence is the wanton annihilation of the girl child’s future, innocence and sense of self-worth. And sometimes these victims are indeed left with sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancies they cannot carry or they are even murdered.
Tisamasekelere kupha, because that is what sexual violence is from all fulcrums of human existence. And let us not be hypocrites who go around town pretending to be decent ladies and gentlemen, yet we become passive accomplices of such acts in many ways than one.
Human rights of every human being matter. The girl child’s rights matter. She deserves to be protected and respected. Her future is not for the taking by wanton puppets.
I rest my case.