Criminals Let Loose….
About ten days ago, I read in the newspapers that a man had been arrested, accused of raping an-eight-year-old girl. I was gobsmacked. What type of animal would do that? Are we becoming so predatory? These were the thoughts assailing my mind. That was until today, when I read that another man had raped a six year old girl. Can you imagine the depravity of some people?
Come to think of it, rape is one of the most heinous crimes one can commit, especially when it involves underage girls. This is made worse when the girls are as young as six or eight. What can these people say as defense when they are brought to a court of law? Should they even be allowed to narrate some mysterious stories that forces them to do it?
These pedophiles cannot be allowed to continue to destroy the lives of our young girls with impunity. The crime of rape has far-reaching consequences. One can even argue that it is worse than murder. For, if one murders a person, in most cases one has taken one life. But if a rapist rapes an underage girl, the consequences may include the girl being unable to bear children in the future. Thus, if that girl was destined to have a girl child in the future, who in turn was destined to have children, one can imagine the number of lives that that rapist snuffed off even before they had the chance of being born.
Rape should be considered worse than murder and its punishment should match the severity of the crime. But the huge problemof rape is the culture of silence. Hardly would the family of a rape victim report the case, for fear of stigmatisation, especially if the rapist happens to be a family member, which is most often the case. Therefore, this is not only about law enforcement but also about sensitisation. In this, government should increase support to women groups, the Women’s Bureau and other civil society organizations to sensitize the population.
Mr President, I want to suggest naming and shaming of pedophiles when they are convicted. This will perhaps have an effect on the rampant problem of rape cases we hear about almost every other week. As this is a conservative country, perhaps the fear of stigma will sway them more than any other thing. Also, anyone who covers up a rape case because the rapist is a relative, if such a person is arrested, he or she should face equal punishment with the rapist.
Last week, I wrote on the bane of blaming everything on God. We must learn to take responsibility of our actions and stop blaming God for our shortcomings.
Tha Scribbler Bah
A Concerned Citizen