You can’t charge me with rape; I’m a Zimbabwean woman

Toronto — Have you heard of women raping men? I bet not! Nonetheless it’s the latest trend of indecent assault on Zimbabwean men. Over the past year, Zimbabwean men have been plagued by women kidnapping and raping them, sometimes at gunpoint.

It is believed that in the past year alone, there have been at least 13 cases of men raped by women. The Zimbabwean police have confirmed the growing trend of sexual assault by women against men. In fact, the police believed that the numbers are much higher than what has been reported. It has been grossly under reported due to the fact that Some men are afraid to come forward and make a report that they have been raped by women due fear of been stigmatized. Traditionally, it was always the opposite where women were assaulted by men. So this trend is shocking to say the least… According to Harare police chief Angeline Guvamombe, “this is a serious crime and is being regarded as such.”

She further stated that the women who have committed such crimes against men are being treated as criminals as the acts have violated the men. The victims are between the ages of 18 and 54. Some are lured by women driving expensive cars, while others are offered rides. Once the men are inside the perpetrator’s cars, they are drugged and taken to isolated places or houses and raped…

According to the Aug. 26 issue of the Zimbabwe Herald, (published by the government of Zimbabwe) the sexual assault of men by women has increased in frequency and aggression. Since this strange phenomenon of crime role reversal was brought to the attention of the police, over a year ago; there has been one fatality that has been linked directly to these assaults. Malvern Jena Makuve was found dead in his car on the outskirts of Chimaninami mid-August. He was found in his car which appeared to have collided with a tree. He was sitting in the driver’s seat with his pants down to his ankle, and two condoms and a cloth soaked with unknown substance next to him. Other than his positioning, there is no evidence that he was a victim of the female rapist. In some reported cases, the victims were held at knife point; robbed and raped. One commonality is that the sperm is collected in condoms and taken with the rapists; hence the speculation that sperm is collected for the purpose of rituals.

The other interesting issue with this new trend is this, the Zimbabwean women cannot be charged with rape. According to police, the Zimbabwean law does not recognize that women can rape men. The women who have sexually assaulted men will be charged with the lesser crime of indecent assault which also carries a lesser sentence. What exactly does this mean for Zimbabweans? Will they have to revise their laws to ensure this unusual crime is reflected in the law books? Or it’s not significant enough to warrant law revision? Well, it’s certainly a question for the law makers of Zimbabwe. After all, its only women raping men, so what is the big deal?

Well, it is a big deal! Stop for one moment and reflect on this. Your sister or auntie or female cousin was kidnapped and raped at gunpoint. Most of us would want the rapist’s head; right? Absolutely! We are angry, upset and concerned about the physical and psychological wellbeing of our loved one. But guess what? The perpetrator was a woman. Does this mean that the impact on the victim is less? Does it really matter who or what committed the crime? All we want is justice. Whosoever harmed our loved one should pay.

Let’s face it, the physical, social and psychological impacts are very similar. Men as well as women experience guilt, shame, feeling of worthlessness and self blame. Some men may have issues with intimacy following such incident as rape and or other types of sexual assault. Depression and anxiety are not uncommon among these victims.

While researching this topic of women raping men, this author experienced first hand, the matter-of-fact way in which people react to crimes such as this against men. A couple of the men I spoke with joked about “moving to Zimbabwe so they can be raped by women.” Hence, women raping men is trivialized and the men may be regarded as wimps and whiners for reporting such crimes against them. This in itself is a problem. Just like female victims of such crimes, men are afraid as they don’t want to be stigmatized and or ridiculed. The lesson here is this: let’s treat each and every crime with the due seriousness it warrants. It should not matter who assaults whom. A crime is committed and therefore should be investigated, prosecuted and the culprit should be punished accordingly. Male assaulting female or female assaulting male, a crime is committed and so what is good for the goose should really be good for the gander!

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