Sometimes back, I had a conversation with different people about how a rapist should be charged, especially one that rapes an underage girl. They all responded ‘castration’ but I did not see that as an enough punishment for someone who forcefully went into the private parts of another person.
Nearly one in three Kenyan girls experience sexual violence before the age of 18, according to a report launched by the Kenyan government and the United Nations in 2016.
Three quarters of Kenyan children experience physical, sexual or emotional violence, according to the findings of the first nationwide household survey of more than 3,000 young people aged 13 to 24.
“The survey results depict a sobering picture of pervasive and insidious violence that afflicts the entire country,” Naomi Shaban, minister of gender, children and social development, said at the launch of the Violence Against Children Survey.
Sexual violence – defined as sexual touching or attempted sex against the child’s will or coerced or forced sex – was experienced by 32 percent of Kenyan girls and 18 percent of boys before the age of 18.
In Rome, 1992, a 45-year-old driving instructor was accused of rape. When he picked up an 18-year-old girl for her first driving lesson, he sexually assaulted her, then told her that if she was to tell anyone he would kill her. Later that night she told her parents and her parents helped her press charges. The rapist was convicted and sentenced to a lesser charge of indecent exposure. The victim appealed, and he subsequently was convicted of all charges. The accused appealed to the Italian Supreme Court, which overturned the conviction in 1998 because the victim wore tight jeans. It was argued that the jeans were so tight that the only way to have gotten them off was if she had helped her attacker remove her jeans, thus making the act consensual (“because the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them… and by removing the jeans… it was no longer rape but consensual sex”). The Italian Supreme Court stated in its decision “it is a fact of common experience that it is nearly impossible to slip off tight jeans even partly without the active collaboration of the person who is wearing them.” As of 2008 the Italian Supreme Court has overturned their findings, and there is no longer a “denim” defense to the charge of rape.
This ruling sparked widespread protest. The day after the decision, women in the Italian Parliament protested by wearing jeans and holding placards that read “Jeans: An Alibi for Rape”. As a sign of support, the California Senate and Assembly followed suit. Soon Patricia Giggans, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women (now Peace Over Violence), made Denim Day an annual event. As of 2011 at least 20 U.S. states officially recognize Denim Day in April.
Wearing jeans on this day has become an international symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual assault.
With all these statics and happenings, castrating is not enough, the perpetrators of these heinous crime should be served with a more concrete trial to serve for their crimes. Many women, children have fallen prey to heartless predators who tear every piece of their dignity apart.
I maintain that dress code, late hour strolling, revealing clothes should not be a reason or even a trigger of any sexual violence against women, men and children. The ultimatum for sexual violence is death.
( By Maryan Hajir, Asal Media correspondent )
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