What does it take to make so­ci­ety care?

CityPress - - Voices -

Which of th­ese facts is the most ou­tra­geous? Which is the most dis­gust­ing dis­play of the dis­re­spect our in­sti­tu­tions and fel­low South Africans seem to have for the woman in the street?

That a gang of men are us­ing minibus taxis to prey on women com­muters so that they can rape and rob them.

That this has been go­ing on for as long as a year and that at the time of go­ing to press another seven women had come for­ward with sim­i­lar sto­ries.

That the first two cases were re­ported to po­lice in Rood­e­poort last year, but we’ve heard noth­ing about it – no warn­ings is­sued, no sus­pects ar­rested to date.

That it took a rape sur­vivor’s coura­geous act of telling her tale on ra­dio to gal­vanise the po­lice, rel­e­vant gov­ern­ment de­part­ment and the taxi as­so­ci­a­tion to start tak­ing this se­ries of crimes se­ri­ously, and to get the po­lice to bother to try to catch the rapists and help the sur­vivors.

That a rape sur­vivor says: “I just want them to show in­ter­est and at­tempt to ar­rest th­ese peo­ple.”

That the large and loud pub­lic­ity this case has now at­tracted is what it takes to get a re­ac­tion out of the pub­lic ser­vants, whose salaries our taxes pay, to do their jobs and keep us safe from the most de­praved mem­bers of our so­ci­ety. The an­swer is that pick­ing one is im­pos­si­ble. There are no words for how out­raged we all are about this bla­tant dis­play of dis­re­gard for women in our so­ci­ety.

What is per­haps most ou­tra­geous is that it is not a blip – it is the South African norm that the war on women’s bod­ies is re­lent­less, om­nipresent and un­stop­pable.

It is un­stop­pable be­cause it seems our so­ci­ety couldn’t give a damn. We can only hope this time the pub­lic out­rage isn’t as fleet­ing as usual.

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