For many years, the world over, women have been victims of violence and rape whether at home, in social places or even at their workplaces. In the earlier days, it was difficult for women to report cases of violence or rape to the relevant authorities for fear of victimization. However with time, and a lot of sensitization has taken place, feminists have come out in large numbers to encourage any victims of rape to come and seek justice, more women are reaching out to report acts of violence and rape against them (Eyssel, & Bohner, 2011).
The rape culture has become more rampant in the society we live in today despite the harsh punishments and consequences that are meted out to the offenders. To end this rape culture, a lot more is required to be done besides the strict and severe punishments. When some rape incidents make their way to the national news, a lot of national outcry for severe punishment for the perpetrators is demanded; sometimes even death is required for the victims to find justice.
So many other cases do not make it to national news (Munro, & Kelly, 2009). But, is this enough to end the inhuman acts of rape in our society? Is death the ultimate stopper to these acts of rape?
In Kathua and Unnao, two kids who were below the age 12 were raped, and it got the national attention, and a national outcry broke out demanding for the death of the men who had done the unnatural acts.
A recent study has shown that criminals don’t consider any form of punishment to be ultimate and this will not stop them from going out there and committing the crimes of rape all over again.
When Brock Turner assaulted a woman who was not conscious, he was sentenced to six months in prison. This caused a public uproar and outrage. How can a rapist be given only six months behind bars for the foul offense that he has committed? The lawmakers in California came together to harshness the sentences of rapists. The Turner case exposed the deep flaws in the justice system in regards to rape, high rates of bipartisan in the instances and punishments are not deemed to be enough to give the victims justice. When the women who have been raped and assaulted seek the truth, they are shamed and blamed and in most cases intimidated into not speaking up on what happened to them. However, the legal experts and outspoken feminists want more than a minimum sentence for the perpetrators, and they want solutions that will end the rape culture in the society to be implemented rather than severe and harsh punishments.
More often than not, when it comes to the rape cases, the outcome is determined by the influence of the offenders in the society, the powerful, and mighty and sometimes those considered to be superior regarding the race get away with their acts of vile (Racklin, 2016). Turner assaulted a woman, and in his defense, he blamed everything he could think of except himself, he was not to blame according to his thinking; he excused himself because he was drunk and thought it was okay to do what he did. The judge on the hand gives him a lesser punishment because he was concerned about the severity of the outcome. Everyone who was outraged by this had a right to be. This is a problem staring at the society right in the face, and minimum sentencing is not the solution to it if the problem is to have permanently been solved, more has to be done.
Unless we treat rape as a serious crime, and severely punish the perpetrators, then the rape culture will not come to an end any time soon.
Most people fall back into a circle of the offenses they have already committed when they are severely punished. This includes rapists; they will fall back into the urge to do it again when a chance presents itself as a way of hitting back at the society.
We can scream blue murder when we learn of another rape act that has taken place, and justice has not been served like in the case of Turner, but so what? What do we need to do to reduce this happenings and occurrences? There has to be another way to approach this argues Claire Kebodeaux. We can
For every 1000 rape cases, at least 993 will not be punished by the law, this is a high number, and it should not be like this. This is according to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network. That number is alarming. However, longer prison sentences do not make the rape culture to be taken with the seriousness that it deserves (Field, 2015). The victims are shamed and called names and sometimes blamed for what happened to them, this gives the perpetrators a sense of victory like whatever that they have done is not wrong, no matter how severe they are punished after this, it will not change their perception on the issue.
The justice delivery system has got to have serious reforms. There is a lax of the law when it comes to rape and violence against women. Feminists have been shouting themselves hoarse but still enough has not been done. However, the judiciary has been setting up a quick process to make the rape cases faster. Initially, the idea was to get more judges to facilitate the process of setting up the additional courts. The courts are similar to the ordinary courts except that these particular courts are meant to ease the pressure that comes with the nature of the cases. The essence of a speedy justice delivery system is to try and reduce the crimes of rape and violence. Having more judges, coming up with case management systems, giving strict guidelines in case the offender wants the case to be adjourned, there has to be stringent measure and conditions to discourage the same. These are some of the proposed implementations that will bring changes in the judiciary when it comes to justice for rape and violence victims (Deitz, 2017).
Despite all these implementations and awareness, the rape culture amongst women and young girls and boys has not gone down. If anything, the numbers have continued to increase gradually. This is a clear indication that enough is not being done to curb the terrible vice. Almost all the girls in Myanmar live in fear when they attain a certain age. This is because of the rampant rape case that goes on in this community. 80% of girls get raped and then blamed for it, more often on their choice of clothes. No one should defile another because of what she is wearing. A rapist’s mind does not get triggered by an outfit. No one should live their lives fearing for what could happen, that is a lot of mental torture and psychological baggage. In the past two years, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA) has reported that the rape cases have gone up. This mostly occurs in young children and women (White, 2013). These crimes happen most when there are civil wars in an area. Despite some of the perpetrators being caught, no severe punishment has been meted out. Scholars of the law have fronted their proposals when it comes to what sentence a person who has committed the act of rape should receive. If it is someone who is underage, then it is proposed that the perpetrator is made to go through a reformation. If the person who has committed the crime is an adult, then they should get life imprisonment with severe punishment.
As others argue that life imprisonment for those who have committed an act of rap should be punishment enough, others feel like it is not enough. There is not enough punishment that can make up for the torture and psychological pain that the act of rape causes to a victim. The victim goes through untold suffering; their lives change forever. Some end up taking their own lives because they cannot live with the psychological trauma of the horrendous act. No one deserves to go through that, and no one should put another person through that pain. Locking a person behind bars for committing this crime is not enough. There should be more than trying to rehabilitate them. They should also go through an equal amount of pain (Doob, 2003).
There has to be a way to ensure that the women in this world are protected against rape and violence. We should not wait for a disaster to happen like in the case of Brock Turner to have a national outcry. Turner violated a woman who was unconscious and got away with it. Despite the worldwide protest, he still got away with it. Feminists poured into the streets of California demanding justice for the victim, but the rally yielded a not so exciting result. It shouldn’t be like that. There has to be a way to punish these people who perform this vile act that all the others who have a similar intent will have second thoughts. Rape is rape, whether one is conscious or not. It should not happen to anyone in the first place. In California, active feminists are seeking the politicians to support the rape victims and pass laws that will ensure the perpetrators get the punishment that they deserve (Wriggins, 2014).
In some countries, the rape sentence carries the most extended time behind bars, yet this has not reduced the rape incidents happening. If anything, there have been more cases reported, and the percentage goes up by the day. There has to be something that should be done to ensure this vice is eliminated. Women should not live in fear, afraid that someone might bounce on them and defile them, and blame it on their choice of dress, or where they were. There should be stringent measures to curb this vice. Cultural norms enable rape; so is mass incarceration (Torrey, 2010). A mandatory minimum for rapists should be put in place around the world.
While some people argue that a rapist should have the nerves to his penis severed so that he never erects again, some suggest that the rapist should have the word rapist tattooed on their forehead or where the word can be seen easily (Hough, 2016). Others have gone further to say that therapists should not be put in prison because then they will be using the taxpayers’ money to be kept there. Is this what it will take to end the rape culture in the world? In a society where the victim often gets blamed for being raped, therapists know that they can get away with it. They know that somehow their victim will get blamed for the events and that their punishment will not be very harsh. The society should start taking this very seriously; no one should be made to feel like they are not even in control of their bodies. A person should be able to dress up in whatever they want to and not get blamed or victimized for the same. But is incapacitating one or worse imposing inhumane punishments the only way? Are there other ways that the rape punishment can march the crime? Besides rehabilitation, what another discipline can be meted on these people? Such a penalty that will discourage any person thinking of doing the same, one that will be equal to the crime (Kritzer, 2011).
It has been argued over and over before that the best punishment for rapists is shunning them from the society. They should be kept in a place where they are alone and do not come in contact with anyone. They should not even be allowed visiting time by their families through the period that they will be in prison. They should go through total isolation even from other inmates with hard daily routines and mental and psychological therapy. The psychological treatment should help them to be better persons when they finish serving their sentences so that they become responsible citizens (Roberts, 2015).