Reports that a 19-year-old Zambian girl was allegedly gang-raped by four men at Grootfontein in Namibia in the early hours of Sunday makes sad reading.
The rising incidences of rape cases in Zambia, and neighboring countries is worrying and we are calling for stiffer penalties against rapists as a deterrent warning to would-be offenders.
According to the Namibian Police Force, Otjozondjupa Regional Crime Investigations Coordinator, deputy Commissioner, Naukalemo Andreas in an interview with Namibia Press Agency (NAMPA) on Monday said one suspect in the matter has been arrested.
Mr Andreas said the 25-year-old suspect was allegedly caught in the act and arrested after the girl was heard screaming for help in the bushes of Soweto location.
Three other suspects in the same matter are still on the run and are being pursued them she said.
He stated that preliminary police investigations indicate that the girl was seen socializing at a bar in the Soweto area Saturday night and around midnight she was allegedly dragged into the bushes by the four suspects.
The men allegedly took turns to rape her while she was screaming for help and Police officers who were on patrol in the area were directed to the bushes by people who heard her screaming, and one of the suspects was caught red-handed.
Rapists are dangerous, that is why they deserve long sentences, not as societal revenge, but as a way of protecting society.
In order to stop crimes like rape, the state must ensure that the rapists are not just arrested but severely punished according to the law.
Those horrible men should be punished accordingly for committing such despicable acts to the innocent lady.
And the rape victims should be given institutional and moral support so that they along with their families feel safe while the cases are ongoing and do not feel pressured to withdraw them. In this particular case, we hope the police in Namibia will do justice by ensuring that the rapists were convicted and jailed.
We have also seen an upsurge of cases of rape involving young girls and what is painful is that in most cases the rapists are relatives.
The victims of rape are traumatised the rest of their lives so raping is as good as sentencing an individual to death.
The courts have been sending rapists to jail but it seems the sentences have not been deterrent enough.
The offenders should be given stiffer penalties to send a strong message to would-be offenders.
These criminals should not be living in a normal society. There is need to give them stiffer punishments which, we believe, will help control the situation because other people out there will know how serious this crime is.
Young women should also always be careful and alert when they are out socializing at night.
Women should avoid drinking beer with strangers who could easily take advantage of them when under the influence of alcohol as it is the most common drug used in sexual assaults.
Alcohol is readily and legally available. The side-effects of alcohol consumption can include impaired decision making and perceptions, memory loss, loss of consciousness and coordination. These may make a person more vulnerable than when they are sober.
The choice to take advantage of a persons’ vulnerability due to alcohol intoxication is the choice of the perpetrator.
A perpetrator may deliberately target you because you are intoxicated whether through your own voluntary consumption of alcohol or other drugs, or because they have facilitated your intoxication as part of a plan to sexually assault you.
Criminals take advantage of situations where potential victims are distracted or incapacitated and therefore the best protection is to be security conscious and alert.
There must never be an opportunity given to allow these outliers of society to take hold, there is no way that rape and even the act of a gang rape should cross the mind of a man.
Crime on border towns can adversely have a spillover effect on the business community and hence the urgent need for the police service to act swiftly to bring to book the culprits.