Apr 20, 2009, 6:06 AM
crime of forcefully having sex with someone against his or her wishes is
getting rampant in The Gambia and it must not tolerated; it must be meted with
the ultimate force of the law.
The Gambia has witnessed a series of rapes against women and children of late. Recently older men have been arrested and charged with the rape of younger girls, young enough to be their granddaughters.
But what is even more shocking is the number of people allegedly rape by a 22-year-old man just within three weeks. This guy raped or attempted to rape at least 6 people within this period.
It is disturbing to note that there are people like him in our society who are sick in their heads.
They walk among us and pretend that they are normal when in fact they are not. They have gone ahead to allegedly commit heinous acts of rape and sexual assault.
The fight against this scourge in our communities be tightened and the police, even though doing great, must buckle up.
Sexual assault is one of the most under-reported crimes with as much as 60 per cent still being left unreported.
What happen to rapists when they are caught and prosecuted? According to research, about 60 per cent of rapes or sexual assaults are not reported to the police. Those rapists of course, never spend a day in jail according to a statistical average of the past five years. Factoring in unreported rapes, only about 6 per cent of rapists ever serve a day in jail.
Quick facts about rape prosecution
1.If a rape is reported, there is a 50.8% chance of arrest.
2.If an arrest is made, there is an 80% chance of prosecution.
3.If there is a prosecution, there is a 58% chance of conviction.
4. If there is a felony conviction, there is a 69% chance the convict will spend time in jail.
5. So even in the 39% of attacks that are reported to the police, there is only a 16.3% of chance the rapist will end up in prison.
6.Factoring in unreported cases, about 6% of the rapists will ever spend a day in jail.
This does not mean the judiciary and child friendly organisations are not doing their best to wipe out rape. Violence against women and girls is endemic worldwide.
Female genital mutilation, honour killing, child brides, trafficking, grooming, rape and domestic violence are rampant in societies in which women are classed as second-class citizens.
While The Gambia may not experience the most extreme of these practices, our record of protecting victims of sexual violence is still abysmal, and something must be done, starting with now with this alleged serial rapist, who is not even one of our own.
“Rape is one of the most terrible crimes on earth and it happens every few minutes. The problem with groups who deal with rape is that they try to educate women about how to defend themselves. What really needs to be done is teaching men not to rape. Go to the source and start there.”