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Swedish, Nature conservation freak, Passionate about Africa, Loving Peace, Politically neutral

Thursday, 5 March 2009

The upside of high rape rates

The Doctors Without Borders reveal in their report that South Africa has the same level of rapes as war-thorn countries such as Congo, Colombia and Liberia. In one of the worst “informal settlement” (townships) a woman is raped every 26th second. This has lead to the bizarre situation of societies where raped women are the norm. Although rape-rates of these proportions are nothing to be happy about, they might bring some relief for the exposed women.

I have observed that a big part of the trauma, in association with rape, is shame. A shame that society puts on the woman, as if she was to blame for what had happened. In many cultures (note: including the “civilized” parts of the world) a rape women is regarded as unclean. She can become and outcast, abandon or chased away by her partner and/or family. Her suffering is thus several magnitudes larger that what it “should” be.

I can only speculate, but I wonder if not a raped woman doesn’t benefit from living in a rape-infested society as the above- mentioned township. If rape is becoming a natural part of life, then maybe the stigmatizing burden of having been sexual abused is easier to carry. Women that only have to carry the scarce from the actual assault, and not its aftermath, might have a less painful way back to a normal life (although I do ask myself if life can be regarded as “normal” in a country with murder and rape rates similar to areas of intensive and several armed conflicts).

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Anonymous said...

There can NEVER be an upside to rape. It is easy for you to write these things simply because you have never been in the horrifying situation. The fact that rape is becoming more common or "norm" shows the extent to which the world is becoming more and more rotten and immoral. In a country like South Africa, rapists walk free. Where is the justice? Where are the human rights?

The number of rape cases increasing does not take away the individual emotional pain and turmoil. It takes away something in a woman that can never be replaced. It creates an emptiness that can never be filled, especially not by society accepting rape a normal.

Yes it is true that victims of rape should not be stigmatised because it was not their fault but there are more civilised wasys of preaching against stigma other than accepting rape as normal. There should be justice, first and foremost. Without putting criminals where they belong, the crimes will not reduce. In fact rapists should be castrated!

Geoffrey Goines said...


I never seek for a person that commits crime(s) to walk free. But I do seek for a stop of blaming the victims for what they been exposed to. If the only way by doing this is with raised rape rates it reveals more about the world in which we live in than about me.

S said...

Interesting thought however... I dont think it applies to reality.

Consider the spread of diseases. Perhaps the stigma of being raped is less (which i dont think it actually is) but the stigma of having HIV/AIDS is far more severe (and on top of that a major physical burden).

Anonymous said...

You kind of disgust me.