325 RAPES EV­ERY MONTH Po­lice re­veal shock teenage rape statis­tics

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Nqo­bile Tshili

ABOUT 325 girls are raped in the coun­try ev­ery month, po­lice have said.

Na­tional po­lice spokesper­son Se­nior As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Char­ity Charamba yes­ter­day told pupils from schools in Bu­l­awayo that the ma­jor­ity of rape vic­tims were aged be­tween 11 and 15 years.

She was speak­ing dur­ing a cam­paign to raise aware­ness about drugs and ju­ve­nile rape.

“At least 325 cases of ju­ve­nile rape are recorded ev­ery month. Mean­ing we’re hav­ing 81 plus rape cases on a weekly ba­sis. These are very scary fig­ures and we’ve noted that most of the mi­nors be­ing raped are be­tween the ages of 11 and 15,” Snr Asst Comm Charamba said.

The fig­ures trans­late to 11 mi­nors be­ing raped in the coun­try ev­ery day.

The po­lice spokesper­son said it was wor­ry­ing that peo­ple who are close to the mi­nors were the ones sex­u­ally as­sault­ing them.

“Rel­a­tives, neigh­bours, boyfriends, herd boys and church­mates are the main per­pe­tra­tors of these rape in­ci­dents. These kids are raped by the peo­ple they know. They’re not be­ing raped by strangers in bushes but in their homes,” said Snr Asst Comm Charamba.

“They’re threat­ened with as­sault or mur­der if they re­port the sex­ual as­saults. But we’re en­cour­ag­ing them to re­port these cases. We’ve never dealt with any in­ci­dent where some­one was killed for re­port­ing rape.”

She said the po­lice were wor­ried about rape vic­tims who are not re­port­ing that they are be­ing abused.

“Most ju­ve­niles are re­luc­tant to re­port their cases. It’s only the 11 to 15-year-olds who are com­ing for­ward to re­port their cases”.

Snr Asst Comm Charamba said it was dis­turb­ing that rapists were buy­ing ju­ve­niles’ si­lence with petty things such as jig­gies, or promis­ing them money.

She urged the girl child to avoid trav­el­ling in se­cluded places say­ing these ar­eas make them tar­gets for sex­ual at­tacks.

Snr Asst Comm Charamba cited the case of a pupil from Mosi-Oa-Tunya High School in Vic­to­ria Falls who was killed last year while with her boyfriend in the rain­for­est.

She called on pupils to aid the po­lice in fight­ing crime in so­ci­ety by re­port­ing abuse to re­spon­si­ble au­thor­i­ties.

“We urge you to re­port these cases. Re­port them to teach­ers, chiefs vil­lage herds, po­lice among other au­thor­i­ties”.

Snr Asst Comm Charamba be­moaned sub­stance abuse among the youth say­ing in some in­stances it re­sulted in them be­ing sex­u­ally as­saulted. She said peer pres­sure was ram­pant among ju­ve­niles “Drug abuse re­sults in mur­der, rape, sodomy and rob­bery. In the Mid­lands last year, a teenager killed his mother due to al­co­hol abuse. You’ll re­gret af­ter­wards but that won’t bring back your mother. Can you imag­ine killing your own mother,” said Snr Asst Comm Charamba.

She said mi­nors should know the dangers of drug abuse as they can be detri­men­tal to their lives.

Snr Asst Comm Charamba said through al­co­hol abuse, young peo­ple were ex­pos­ing them­selves to teenage preg­nan­cies, HIV, STIs and men­tal prob­lems.

She said some of the com­monly abused drugs in­clude dagga, co­caine, heroin, bronco and some cough syrups.

@nqot­shili See com­ment on Page 4

Se­nior As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Char­ity Charamba

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