October 8, 2018

Abuse of women and children

Two of the most horrific cases of sexual violence against children have featured in the news over the past week.

One case started when the news broke over last weekend of the horrific rape of a 7 year old girl in the toilet of the Dros restaurant in Silverton. The 20 year old miscreant appeared in the Pretoria Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday and the case was postponed until 1 November for further investigation.

Another case ended in the Pretoria High Court, when the “Springs Monster” was sentenced to an effective 35 years in prison for the systematic torture and abuse of his 5 children over a 10 year period, including the rape of his 16 year old daughter. The psychological report that was evidence in the sentencing hearing described the man as a psychopath and a sadist with low prospects of rehabilitation.   The judge ordered that the psychological report be placed before the parole board if the man applies for parole.

One hopes that the Dros rapist gets a similar sentence when his case is finalised. Neither of these men should be placed back into society where they can endanger more children.

In these 2 cases, 6 children have been robbed of their innocence and their childhood. But what the media frenzy around these 2 cases masks, is the reality that, according to the 2017/2018 crime statistics that were recently release, 64 children are sexually assaulted each day in South Africa. And these are the cases that are reported to the police; God knows how many are unreported.

As a man, I cannot comprehend that a man would force his sexual attention on anyone. That there are so many men who feel that it is their right to take their sexual gratification from innocent children that there are 64 victims per day is simply beyond my comprehension! Add to that the rape, sexual assault and violence that is perpetrated against adult women every day and you start thinking that every second man you see in the street must be a rapist.  Just what kind of a society are we?!

I believe that children are to be protected and loved and that women are to be respected and, in appropriate relationships, loved and cherished, within the boundaries that they have the right to set.

To me, any man who will rape, sexually assault or abuse a child or a woman (or another man for that matter!) is evil beyond compare and should be removed from society for ever. Perhaps put them all on an island together?

The violence that is perpetrated against women and children appalls me. It also makes me feel pretty helpless. Various groups say that men must do something about the problem. But what do we do?  Sure, if I witness abuse or become aware of specific cases I will certainly get involved and do something about it and I am pretty damn sure that every one of my man friends will do the same.

But what can we, as men who love and protect our children and love, cherish and respect our wives or partners, do about the abuse that is going on that we don’t see and that we can’tdirectly do anything about?

Suggestions will be welcomed.

Robin Twaddle
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