RAPE: Syria and South Africa

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      Rape and other forms of sexual violence are still serious issues that the world is struggling with today. This is largely because they represent the gravest forms of human rights abuses.  Rape statistics around the world are frightening and the figures just keep mounting.!! In Europe, Sweden has the highest rape statistics, in Africa, we see countries like D.R.C and South Africa. In Asia, there are so many countries notorious for rape, sexual violence and human sex trafficking: India, Bangladesh, Colombia, Cambodia…. In the Carribean, rape is also a major issue like in the small island of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
       South Africa has always been notorious for rape and sexual violence. The country has the highest incidents of rape of minors (children and babies) resulting in about 67,000 of world reported cases in 2000. A contributing factor to this is the South African Myth that sex with a virgin could cure HIV.
      About 25% of South African men have admitted to rape at one time or the other. Some groups of teenagers employ gang rape as a means of fun, they call this ‘Jackstrolling’. South Africa has the highest rates of rape in the world and it is so common that it hardly makes news. IRIN, a humanitarian news agency estimates that about 500,000 rapes are committed in South Africa yearly!!
         The Syrian civil war has no doubt wrecked great damage to almost all spheres of the country, this includes fast rising incidences of rape. As seen in most countries with civil wars, ethnic conflicts and general break down of law, Syria has seen tremendous increase in the cases of rape since its civil war began three years ago.
     Soldiers have been reported to sexually abuse vulnerable women and girls. The rebels are equally notorious for this. High incidences of war rape has led to stigmatization of victims, honor killings and forced and child marriages. An estimate of 6,000 women have been raped since the beginning of the war.
     In most cases where rape occurs, the victims do not report, for the fear of stigmatization, forced marriage, honor killings and further abuse. This is the primary reason for the under reported cases of rape around the world especially in African and Asian countries.
      The Governments should take active measures to combat rape and sexual violence. This should not just be done by legislation but by putting in place active measures towards implementation. It is unfair for people to be raped or even live with the fear of being raped. The act of rape is very barbaric and shouldnt continue in today’s society.
     

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