Rape cases need a stern approach

The writer believes there is still lots to be done in terms of this country's rape laws.
The writer believes there is still lots to be done in terms of this country's rape laws.
Image: 123RF Stock Image/ lculig

A lot still needs done to change our laws on rape.

It is clear that the major laws dealing with rape have failed to match the international standards in addressing the crime.

Tougher laws will only be effective if implemented correctly. Violent assaults, rapes and murders of women are symptomatic for a deeply dysfunctional society. Any new law on rape should include the conduct of a defence lawyer and bar unethical questions against the rape victim, such as: "Can money compensate for rape?"

How can we stop heinous crimes like rape? There is hardly a day when instances of harassment, violence and sexual abuse of women aren't reported by the media. The most shocking aspect is that these instances are increasing at an alarming pace, and minors too are being sexually abused.

The prosecution for rape and sexual harassment should have the toughest lawyers pleading the case to ensure conviction every time, not just once in over a thousand cases.

Before the dignity of more women and children is sacrificed, we need to have real change for the sake of a better democracy.

The drive to end violence against women and children is not a short-term task, but a long-term goal. We need to work with families, communities, local authorities, organisations and the public health service to change attitudes and address the issue. Let's pledge that no woman should live in fear of violence.

Shireen Lakhi Mooi River

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