Rape is used to destroy not just individuals but entire communities. Rape is so commonly used as a weapon that Major General Patrick Cammaert, a former UN force commander said –
“It has probably become more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier in armed conflict.”
In 2008 the UN declared rape, ‘ a weapon of war’. In the resolution, the UN Security Council noted that,
“…women and girls are particularly targeted by the use of sexual violence, including as a tactic of war to humiliate, dominate, instil fear in, disperse and/or forcibly relocate civilian members of a community or ethnic group.”
Rape is a heinous crime, acknowledged as torture by the United Nations and yet apart from the physical, emotional and psychological scars that rape inflicts, there is another source of pain for rape victims – social exclusion. In many countries the shame experienced by the victims after rape is as traumatic as the incident itself. Many women kill themselves as it is seen as the only way to restore honour to their families.
How can this be true?
Surely the perpetrators of heinous crimes are the ones who should be ashamed?
And who are the people who exclude or look down on these victims?
Do these excluders and condemners include women?
If so – why?
What is it about rape that makes the victims ashamed and not the perpetrators?
When will men – and women – begin to speak out against this violation?
What sort of social conceptual framework exists to support this victimisation of victims?
If we could find it could we dismantle it?
All thoughts appreciated.