The laws in South Africa has been frowned at for being too kind to males who rape others.
This call for amendment is coming at the heels of reports which confirmed that a 20-year-old male was dragged to a corner and repeatedly gang-raped by 2 men.
Although the rapists were identified, arrested and prosecuted by the laws, the victim feels betrayed by the country’s legal system.
The minimum sentence for rape says 10 years behind bars but the gay rapists – Shawn Leonard September (28), and his accomplice Brendon Ralph Hugo (25) – were handed only 7 years prison sentence last week by a magistrate at the Kimberley Regional Court.
This issue has raised concerns among South Africans who are now condemning the legal system for being too soft and lax. Rape cases in South Africa is not taken seriously.
Shaheda Omar of the Teddy Bear Clinic for abused children in Johannesburg said: “This sentence is very light. The courts are not taking these matters seriously.”
“At least 20% of the rape cases the clinic deals with involve the rape of adolescent boys, which are under-reported because of the “shame, stigma and self-blame” experienced by victims, Omar added.
Male victims run the risk of humiliation from the police and family.
Omar said: “There is often a stigma and humiliation associated with male rape because of the myth that ‘males cannot be raped’.”
Another representative for Cape Town’s Rape Crisis Centre, Kathleen Dey complained that: “The sentencing in this case is really shocking. It is an insult that adds to the trauma of the rape.
Dey continued in her statement saying that male rape cases made up 1% of reports at the crisis center; 10% of those seen by Thuthuzela Care Centres, which provide essential services to victims of rape, are men.
“The South African Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse group estimates that 19.4% of all sexual abuse victims in South Africa are men and about 48% of males are raped by strangers.”
“Men who are raped are less likely to get counselling.”
“Psychologically for men it is about masculinity, whereas women feel dirty or guilty after rape,” Dey added.
She is advocating for the criminal justice system to be more sensitive to all rape cases.