Monday, December 11, 2023

Don’t worry, I’ll take her home

If you party enough you have to at least know one. They spend their entire night going on about their business. Hardly shows much interest in the opposite sex. These are the guys who seemingly need no pointers on proper communication with women. For some reason they just choose to wait for the party to wrap up so they can play good Samaritans. And the target, drunk women.

In wildlife they call them predators. They keep an eye on the weakest prey. The easiest catch. And who better than a highly intoxicated young prey who cannot tell a hyena from an antelope. Statistics from Botswana Police Service (BPS) indicate that during the 2017 festive season alone 110 cases were reported with a majority of them happening while the victims were tipsy or highly intoxicated.

“In some cases women are raped by the people they know or have spent some time with or had alcoholic beverages with, prior to the incident,” BPS public relations officer, Dipheko Motube told a local publication earlier this year. 

He said they encourage women to put their safety first at all times. “Women should also get into the habit of buying their own alcohol as well as making necessary and safer arrangements on how they will return home to avoid being targeted by rapists.”

A typical example of date rape was shared by The Guardian where a lady shared story of one of her friends being raped by a ‘nice’ guy she already knew. “He raped a woman in their own social circle. The man admits that he penetrated the woman while she was sleeping, but says he was confused by the ‘mixed signals’ the woman sent him. She apparently flirted ‘aggressively’ and touched his hair and talked about her own sexuality, which made him think that she wanted to have sex with him,” the story says, adding, “He waited until she was asleep and could not consent to put his penis inside of her.”

While alcohol is the substance most commonly used to help commit sexual assault at times these predators resort to the use of date rape drugs to help their cause. A typical story is that of a prominent Gaborone lady lawyer who found herself a victim of such. Following a night of heavy drinking at a popular jazz bar just out of town she woke up the following day to a view not so familiar to her.

Instead of her snow white ceiling she woke up to the sight of corrugated iron and rafters. She immediately knew something was seriously wrong. When she turned around there was a stranger snoring heavily next to her in a one room house. They were both completely naked and she could feel they had had sex possibly all night. No protection. But the case never reached the police because the lawyer was more worried about her reputation than getting some form of retribution. It is a story, unfortunately, too familiar here Botswana.

Date rape drugs often have no color, smell, or taste making it almost impossible for a victim to tell the difference in smell or taste when their drink has been spiked. The drugs can make one weak and confused and in most cases cause them to pass out, ruling out the possibility of refusing or consenting to sex. The BPS say even if a victim of rape indulged in alcohol or willingly took drugs, they are not at fault for being sexually assaulted. “It is against the law to have sexual contact with someone without their consent,” Motube has said. “Sexual assault is always the responsibility of the person who commits the assault. It is never the victim’s fault regardless of the circumstances leading up to the act.” American country singer Chris Janson has some advice for sexual predators through his song ‘Take a Drunk Girl Home’. “Take a drunk girl home… Let her sleep all alone. Leave her keys on the counter, your number by the phone… Pick up her life she threw on the floor… Leave the hall lights on, walk out and lock the door… That’s how she knows the difference between a boy and man.”


Read this week's paper