There is a lot wrong with our society when gang rape of a teenage girl goes viral

December 19, 2017 at 11:22 am | Opinions & Features, Women

Farida Dawkins

Farida Dawkins | Contributor

December 19, 2017 at 11:22 am | Opinions & Features, Women

Rape culture seems to be rampant in this day and age. Sex sells is the motto so perhaps sexual assault is becoming desensitized and victims are somehow being blamed while justice seems to be lagging behind or non-existent in African countries.

It doesn’t help matters that women are usually blamed for their role in their assault as opposed to the assailants being punished and the motive of their crime explored so that education about the repercussions of rape and sexual assault can ensue.

Another act of alleged rape filmed by culprits has gone viral in Ghana, West Africa. As people share the misconduct across social media outlets, the victim is left to process the pain and embarrassment of the ordeal. Will justice be served?

Just two days ago, the WhatsApp video surfaced of the under-aged girl apparently being raped in turns by seven assailants.  In May, The Sun UK reported that several women gang-raped a young man for three days after he boarded an outsized passenger taxi; he was drugged and forced to consume countless energy drinks which left him disoriented.

Eyewitness ZA recounted that a South African female student was sexually assaulted by her school principal and two instructors in September. In December, BBC News stated that 11 local militias in the Democratic Republic of Congo were imprisoned for raping 40 victims who ranged from eight months to 12 years of age; on the other hand, most of the assailants were set free or served only one year in prison.

Nabih al-Wahsh, a controversial Egyptian lawyer called for women ‘in ripped jeans to be raped and sexually harassed.’ He was jailed several months after an uproar.

Overseas, the United States has been embroiled in its fair share of scandal as several high profile movie producers such as Harvey Weinstein and actors such as Kevin Spacey have been exposed for rape and sexual misconduct.

Pulse Ghana, a popular Ghanaian news outlet published a story during the week of December 16 which aimed to show the cues that a woman is interested in sexual intercourse. It sparked outrage from advocates against the rape culture.

The story mentioned how a woman’s style of dress may be interpreted, which actually fueled the roaring flames of rape culture, even further – the post and all links to the story have since been deleted from all ‘content distribution channels’ as stated by the platform, though the damage hasn’t been undone.

Is it time for a reform in African laws that govern rape, revenge pornography, and distribution of sexual crimes on the internet? At the time of this write-up, there aren’t any known laws against revenge porn which is when a sexual act is taped then broadcasted with the intent of embarrassing or hurting an individual or distribution of content that shows sexual violence or rape perpetrated against women.

In the U.S., sexual acts of crime are often followed by harsh penalties such as prison time, registry on the sexual offenders’ list in some cases and a stigma that negatively affects the lawbreaker’s livelihood. There is also the question of the lack of respect and empathy for rape and other sexually deviant behavior against African Women; is rape seen as a problem low on the totem pole due to the attitude that is taken towards women and their position in African societies?

This blatant disrespect of women’s issues and the lackadaisical attitude displayed by governing officials in African nations where the beforesaid crimes are perpetrated contribute to the mentality that sexual crimes against women aren’t serious enough to warrant a public outrage.

The aforementioned acts have indeed sparked necessary dialogue about African culture, women and how punishable crimes committed against women will be prosecuted.

See below for some of the dialogue sparked by the rape incident in Ghana.

 


 

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