Doubters score own goals against GBV

Image: 123rf/Tinnakorn Jorruang

Society’s response to allegations of rape is problematic and derails the fight against the scourge of gender-based violence.

Late last week TV presenter Molemo “Jub Jub” Maarohanye claimed, during an interview on McG Podcast and Chill, to have “smashed” ( slept with) Amanda du Pont. The actress released a video denying the claim and alleged she was raped and physically abused by Maarohanye.

The two have since threatened each other with legal action – we will not comment on the allegations as we do not know what happened and we would rather allow the courts to handle the matter.

However, what was shocking were social media users’ response to allegations of rape and abuse, as many questioned why Du Pont was speaking only now. Some even questioned whether one could be raped in a relationship and why stay in an abusive relationship for years?

We cannot question the timing of when and why a person speaks about or reports rape. Even our law is in support of them, as under the Criminal Procedure Act, there is no prescriptive period to report crimes like murder, rape and sexual abuse. So anyone can speak out 50 years after the alleged sexual abuse and report it. They must be heard and protected as such action is within their rights.

Who are we to question the timing and intention of the victim ? Ours is to allow the justice system to deal with the cases and support the victim . According to trauma experts, we experience and respond to it differently. So, let us stop the questions as they invalidate the victim’s pain.

The negative reactions and attacks on women alleging sexual and physical abuse negate the fight against gender-based violence. We call on abused women to speak out and leave their abusers, but when they do, we do not believe them.

A study by Gender Links in 2010 estimated that 25.3% of women in Gauteng were “raped by a man, whether a husband or boyfriend, family member, stranger or acquaintance”. The research used a sample of 511 women. 

Let’s stop attacks on women and support them.

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