Male rape vic­tim mocked at po­lice sta­tion

The Herald (South Africa) - - FRONT PAGE - Yoliswa Sobuwa and Zandile Mba­bela mba­belaz@times­me­dia.co.za

A MAN who was al­legedly held at gun­point, drugged and gang-raped by three women in an open field in Kwazakhele was ridiculed by po­lice when he went to re­port the in­ci­dent on Tues­day.

The Her­ald wit­nessed the laugh­ter and mock­ery as the trau­ma­tised man laid the com­plaint at the New Brighton po­lice sta­tion in Port El­iz­a­beth. He de­clined to com­ment. The women al­legedly stopped the 33-year-old man in Sey­isi Street and asked for di­rec­tions to New Brighton, be­fore pulling out a gun and forc­ing him into the black BMW they were trav­el­ling in.

They drove with him for less than a kilo­me­tre to an open field in Khuzwayo Street, where they al­legedly raped him, be­fore flee­ing with his se­men in a cooler box.

Ef­forts to track the man down later at the ad­dress he pro­vided in the po­lice re­port were fruit­less.

No­body in the area in Kwazakhele recog­nised his name, although some of them said he could have pro­vided a fake iden­tity af­ter be­ing openly mocked and laughed at by po­lice.

Martin Pelders, of Ma­trixMen, a sup­port group for male sur­vivors of sex­ual abuse, said be­ing ridiculed was one of the main rea­sons men did not re­port rape.

He said although male rape was preva­lent, it was ex­tremely un­der re­ported for ob­vi­ous rea­sons.

“Men are em­bar­rassed by this and a lot of the time they are ridiculed by the very peo­ple they re­port to,” he said.

“The gen­eral no­tion is that women can’t rape men and as a re­sult you won’t find statis­tics be­cause the crime is seen as rare or bizarre. There may be statis­tics for cor­rec­tive rape, but not nec­es­sar­ily for male rape as cases are not re­ported,” Pelders said.

Many Kwazakhele res­i­dents, when they heard of the al­leged rape, sym­pa­thised with the man and lam­basted those who thought the in­ci­dent was a joke.

Tshepo Linko, 21, said it was not un­com­mon for men to be made fun of when re­port­ing abuse or rape by women.

“I feel sorry for the guy who had to ex­pe­ri­ence this ter­ri­ble painful thing,” she said.

“Peo­ple should re­mem­ber that it was against his will and he was forced into that car at gun­point.

“He was brave enough to re­port the case at the po­lice sta­tion, but he was ridiculed – maybe that is why he de­cided to give out the wrong in­for­ma­tion.”

Than­deka Mzikanisi, 26, said although it seemed odd for a man to be raped, she felt sorry for the guy.

“We have heard of such sto­ries in Jo­han­nes­burg, but it is shock­ing that it has now hap­pened in our backyard,” she said.

“Maybe the guy is some­one that we know but who is very ashamed to show his face af­ter the treat­ment he got at the po­lice sta­tion.

“Peo­ple need to be taught that even men can be the vic­tims of abuse and they need the same sup­port given to women when they are in the same sit­u­a­tion.”

Po­lice spokesman Mncedi Mbombo con­demned the po­lice’s re­sponse when the man re­ported the case.

“When peo­ple go to open cases at the po­lice sta­tion and they ex­pe­ri­ence such treat­ment, they have a right to com­plain to the sta­tion com­man­der.

“They should give the name of the po­lice of­fi­cer who was help­ing them with the case and the time it hap­pened.”

Mbombo said Port El­iz­a­beth po­lice were not aware of any other sim­i­lar cases in the city.

“If it is a na­tional is­sue, our na­tional of­fice might get wind of this and send an e-mail to that ef­fect,” he said.

Sim­i­lar cases were re­ported in Diep­sloot, north of Jo­han­nes­burg, in Jan­uary, and in the East Rand’s Tem­bisa town­ship in March.

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