|Rape cases concealed in communities — Zimbabwe Republic Police|
|Saturday, 04 August 2012 19:10|
Gender reporterPOLICE in the city have expressed concern over the concealment of cases of rape in communities and have called on parents to report cases instead of remaining in silence, as this was a disservice to the victim and a criminal offence too.
This was said by Assistant Inspector Bekithemba Ndlovu, the Acting Provincial police spokesperson, in an interview with Sunday News.
“There is concealment of rape cases in the city and it is worrying that such things are happening. It is, however, important that parents and guardians report the cases when they occur,” said Asst Insp Ndlovu.
He said parents should not cover up such cases as delays could lead to the loss of vital evidence.
‘Delays in reporting lead to the loss of vital evidence that can be used by the police to catch perpetrators, so it is important that as soon as the offence is known it is reported,” he said.
He said rape is usually concealed if it involves family members, as families want to solve the cases without the involvement of the police, which was illegal.
Usually, some cases end up with families compensating each other in the form of livestock and money but that is not justice as the victim will always see the perpetrator walking free, which is a more tormenting experience.
What is even more disturbing is that the fathers and uncles who are supposed to be watching over the girls are the same people that are violating them.
Asst Insp Ndlovu urged parents not to leave girls unattended with males as this is when most abuse occurs. He further said parents should bath and play with their children occasionally.
“We encourage parents to make time and bath their children and play with them as they can get to know if the child has been violated. Most cases children may say that they have been abused if they spend time with the parent,” he said.
On the issue of juveniles, he said parents and guardians should report cases of their children that they have discovered to have had sexual intercourse with an older person as it is a crime.
“Parents usually send their juvenile daughters to get married to the person who would have impregnated them which is not right as it is a criminal offence to have sex with a person below 16 years of age,” he said.
He, however, said any victim of rape should report as soon as possible and avoid destroying evidence by bathing or washing undergarments.
Victims of rape should get examined by hospital personnel who can assist by administering Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), a short-term antiretroviral treatment to reduce the likelihood of HIV infection after potential exposure, either occupationally or through sexual intercourse. A victim of rape can also prevent the likelihood of pregnancy.