Photo Credit – Google
He asked her out,
Just like every mature man had a right to do,
“No,” was how she chose to respond,
Like every woman asked had a right to do,
Disappointed he went his way,
Indifferent she went hers,
But the amorous thoughts he had,
Of lewd things he’d planned to do to her,
With help from some evil counsel,
And a bit of idle time,
Those thoughts they festered,
Until they birthed an obsession,
And sired a contaminant in his mind.
He stalked her like a hunter would do,
And she was blissfully unaware like prey,
Until she got caught in an alley on a dark night,
Where no help could reach,
And no one could hear her scream,
She begged for mercy,
A sex-crazed lunatic bent on evil,
He ignored her tearful pleas,
And violated her against her will.
Afterwards, bloodied and battered,
She cried her heart out,
While he faked remorse,
And blamed his actions on who else,
Yup, you guessed right – the devil,
Just like scum of his kind would often do.
But society, when it heard of the crime,
What did society do?
The men – some secretly sniggered,
Some laughed aloud,
Some queried her claims,
Asked why she was there, what she was about,
The women – some asked how she was dressed,
Some pitifully shook their heads,
Rather than risk being stigmatized some said,
“It’s much better to keep your ordeal secret instead.”
Nobody did what a sane society was supposed to do –
Protect the weak, empathize with the aggrieved,
Press for justice,
And ensure the villain suffers consequences.
So he walked free,
Like many before him had been allowed to do,
Bitter and bent on exacting revenge,
She stalked him,
Just like one wronged and denied justice,
Sometimes is forced to do,
For many days she plotted her vengeance,
Until she caught him in an alley,
On another dark night,
Trying to defile another.
He begged for mercy,
Like cornered cowards are known to do,
She shot without missing,
Then stood and watched him squirm like a worm,
Until life left his bleeding body,
Before she turned the gun on herself,
To avoid society’s belated and biased outrage,
And end an illegitimate life sown,
The night she got robbed of her innocence.
Today has been a very emotional day. This morning I posted the poem above about rape, and the traumatic stories haven’t stopped all day.
First and foremost I want to say I’m sorry, to every girl, boy, woman or man that has ever been raped or has been through attempted rape. I am truly sorry for the pain and the horror, for the lack of empathy we show, for the victim shaming, for our poor laws, the wishy-washy prosecution, and for whatever other complicity society has been guilty of in the handling of rape cases.
Rape is an evil scourge that has always been with us from biblical times. That we’re hearing more of these terrible stories these days is because more and more people are breaking away from our traditional way of dealing with rape which is to shove it out of sight with the belief that everything will eventually be forgotten. Fat lie that is, because the victim never forgets, and only God knows how many lives have been destroyed that way.
It is never okay to remain quiet. A man, my friend was raped by a client, another man, a society big boy. Of course the Company hushed it up, and he eventually ended up getting sacked just to get rid of him. Nothing happened to his attacker. I know too many women who have been raped or assaulted, and who were forced to shush. Some even have children from such episodes. The numbers are astounding, and because rape is most often perpetrated by people in positions of trust, many victims are coerced into silence. It’s either they’re told not to wash the family’s dirty linen in public or in a bid to protect the ‘reputation’ of the perpetrator.
It is not okay to let it go, to leave it to God. Your voice is a weapon, use it. Agreeing to stay silent because of the stigma is handing over the victory to the enemy. Most rapists actually bank on that fear of stigmatization, and also on our society’s hypocritical conspiracy of silence. Shout it from the rooftops if that’s the only thing you can do. Thank God social media has now given a voice to defenseless and downtrodden people, so go ahead and loud it for everyone to hear. While it may not erase what has happened it may at least save someone else from falling victim to the same person.
We all have a duty to call out evil when we become aware of it. Rapists are people like us, everyday people. Call out that man or woman you know touches other people without their consent. Call out that family member, that friend, that colleague that forces himself/herself on other people. Call out that religious leader that takes inappropriate advantage of their position. Don’t become part of the problem by looking away. Don’t stand by and watch a life being destroyed because you think it is not your business.
Educate people around about consent. Be observant; listen to that child trying to tell you something, don’t be too quick to dismiss the weaker party. Always be on guard.
Don’t be a rape apologist. Don’t shame the victim; and don’t make excuses for the offender(s) by attributing their behavior to the devil or demonic possession. We should all be human enough to protect our fellow human beings from danger. It is time we all started being responsible, it is time we remembered our humanity.
See rape for the horrible crime against humanity that it is and treat it so. Empathize with the victim, encourage them to speak up and stand for justice every time regardless of who is involved.
Remember that rape has no gender, and it could happen to you or someone you love. Stand up and be counted.
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