The Rape victims are watching

527 views | Sun, 21st of October, 2018

A lot can happen in a week in South Africa. This week gave me a lot to reflect upon.

The most pressing matter for me this week was Cheryl Zondi. We watched in horror at the barbaric manner in which our justice system operates. It left me begging for answers, ‘Who made up these rules?’

I, like many rape victims chose not to follow proceedings because they would be triggering. The rape wound takes many, many years to heal and I have come to learn that a lot of people are ignorant about the emotional disruption for a victim. Before we even get to the court trauma, rape alone is devastating. It is violent, shocking, demeaning and terrifying all rolled up in one. No rape victim will ever be able to explain the amount of pain rape comes with. Sislonda esibuhlungu esingapholi. Rape changes how you interact with men. Rape breaks trust. Every man is a potential rapist to me and as a result I’m always on the defensive. Rape has completely destroyed intimacy for me. Making love for me is now always proceeded by a panic attack and me reassuring myself that I do actually want this. I always have to remind myself that sex is safe, it is not violent.

 

With so many emotions that come with being a victim of rape... and then Miss Zondi was faced with an insensitive idiot like Peter Daubermann. Wow.

Rape, unlike other crimes sticks with the victim for life so there is no professional way to deal with it. It requires emotional maturity more than brains.

Did this court case not bring to our immediate attention that we need specialised courts for rape with specialised lawyers? The barbaric manner in which Miss Zondi was handled cannot be normalised. It cannot just provide us with soap opera drama for the moment. We are all guilty of having witnessed and provided commentary for secondary rape. The proceedings in that court make us guilty by silence.

 

I have on numerous occasions stated that I will not press charges against the animal who raped me until the court systems change. I will not further traumatise myself like that just because society will not make changes to be better. We are the people we live amongst we are the ones who have power to change things.

What we saw in that court room is wrong and if anything, Daubermann should be disbarred or face some kind of charges.

I don’t know if it is apartheid residue that makes Daubermann behave in the manner he does. He would never speak to a white rape victim like that, is it because he has not humanised Africans that he felt it okay to speak to someone who could be his own child like that? And what of the white arrogance and black submission where the lawyer feels bigger than the judge?

 

Ring the bell on Azania, this cannot be the way we deal with rape in this country. For many years women have been crying about rape culture in SA. Most of us are Cheryl Zondi. When do things start to change? How have things changed? We can’t be reminded of rape by rape. What are the practical ways in which government and society are tackling this issue? How is the media involved in encouraging rape culture? Are rapists held accountable?

 

The Tim Omotoso case also brings attention to other pertinent patriarchal issues like.......

When this man was busy raping our little girls, where were their fathers?