Sexual Violence and rape are serious topics. One of the most perplexing things about them is that we don’t treat, talk or think about them like any other crime
As you interview the victims that undergo rape, You realize we ignore the way they feel just because we don’t feel the same way or because we don’t feel the same agony. In the African culture, Rape is talked about in whispers almost as if it’s an embarrassment and not a tragedy. Rape victims resist reporting their crimes in fear of stigmas, rapists remain unmoved at the injustice in our surroundings.
With Newspapers and social media right at our fingertips, the average person today is more aware of rape in their country and outside countries than there were in the past. But as the amount of rape headlines increases, our understanding of shock and issue decreases. we have begun to treat rape sort of like constant attitudes that we assume will never change. I think it’s human tendency to think of issues that personally impact us than those that don’t, but today our empathy comes with limitations.
So what does it take to change the rape culture? In conversations, we always find common ground. Sharing an emotional understanding given that our experiences are always a mile apart. As we sit down and we dialogue with the victims, we realize that our understanding of rape is not concrete. It is not this abstract concept we read about in the news. Something that can never affect us, something that we can not even think of, rather we realize that it’s a brutal crime that affects a large portion of our society.
A reflection of the world that teaches boys that they are more important than the girls around them. The idea that a woman must be tied to the kitchen and she’s not worth dignity and self-respect. This idea should be stopped and rather gender equality should be implemented.
The fear of not being believed has always been the biggest issue to the victims and it’s something the people in charge should look at to reduce the high rates of rape in the world. This is because we tend to question the victim than the rapist.
The issue of sexual violence is huge in Uganda. The vast majority of survivors both men and women of any kind hardly report because they have real fears about how they will be treated and whether they are going to be believed and when they go to the police stations, they think their whole life is going to be laid down in the public. This should also be looked into by the people responsible.
However, there certain things people need to know about rape and sexual violence which include:
sexual violence does not happen as Commonly as it does. More women are coming forward and there are some faces and voices attached to the experiences but people never believe their stories because people think that this is made up, women lie about this.
Secondly, people lie and that people who say that they have been sexually assaulted are making it up because they are seeking revenge, and they are trying to get personal gain.
Thirdly, strangers perpetrate that women should always be vigilant at night when in fact the vast majority of people sexually abused are abused by a friend, friend of a friend somehow known to that person usually those are most of the victims.
Also, the idea that it happens to certain women and that it’s related to what the woman is wearing is false because it’s about violence. It’s not sex, it’s not because a Woman was dressed so sexy and so a man can’t control himself and so he rapes her.
Finally, Alcohol is a number one rape drug which is another myth because you are at risk of experiencing sexual violence, someone may flip something in your drink.
You can’t get consent when someone is so drunk. Consent is about figuring out is this okay? Can we continue with this? And because someone comes to your bedroom doesn’t guarantee consent.
So for me, If a woman agrees to engage in a particular kind of sexual behaviour and when it’s one person engaging in any kind of social behaviour that is not very well negotiated then that’s where we start to go into the issue of violence.
Written by: Mutsinzi Hannington, firstname.lastname@example.org