OPINION: Do men truly understand the results of women abuse?

It is believed that a woman was created out of a man’s rib as a gift to him. This is how humanity was created.

My instinct does not allow me to believe that women were brought on to this earth to be humiliated and brutally raped. Women may not have much physical strength but they are courageous human beings who deserve to be respected and protected.

The culture of rape has been there for ages, but one cannot tell where it really comes from.

The victims can range from a 1-year-old to 80 years old and more. Skin colour also does not matter. Any woman can be a target, whether you are from a developed or developing country; from the urban or rural areas.

Some of these women are raped by their boyfriends, fathers, uncles, colleagues, sons, husbands and even strangers. When such acts are done, some of the victims are begged not to talk about it to protect the image of the perpetrator or the family itself. These are shameful acts that go unreported and empower the perpetrator to look for his next victim. It is pure evil that is hard to describe.

In movies, soapies and dramas we are likely to come across scenes of women being degraded and raped. Film makers, producers and directors may have good intentions of educating us, but at the same time some misinterpret the message. Some may understand it as a way of disciplining women, whether they are heterosexual or homosexual. Phrases such as “she asked for it”, “I will teach you to be a real woman” or “you cannot deny me” are just sickening.

Some men just do not understand what this stigma does to women; how they are now afraid of the world and can no longer trust the men around them. This brings about anxiety and depression to some survivors. When they speak out about their ordeal, some society members label them as attention seekers. Family and friends find it hard to believe their claims just because the perpetrators seem like they could “hurt a fly”.

It would really not surprise me to hear of someone taking their own life, only to be judged harshly after their death.

We may have thousands of campaigns during Women’s Month, but it simply is not enough. This is an everyday situation that should be addressed in all months of the calendar. It is not okay to force yourself on someone and take away their dignity.

- Liphadzi is a communications graduate