Statistics show that an average of five women are raped every day in Botswana.
The Public Relations Officer of the Botswana Police Service (BPS), Assistant Commissioner Christopher Mbulawa, said that “33 women are raped weekly throughout the country”.
“This is really shocking; I do not know what is happening to some men,” Mbulawa said.
He said some of these cases happen in homes or when people have returned from night clubs.
He added that, in most cases, the victims know the perpetrators.
Rape victims, said Mbulawa, range from as young as five years to 85 years, while the perpetrators mostly in their youths.
“It is not only the police that can fight rape; the public should also take part in the fight against rape,” he said.
The Botswana Police Services will this week hold its 39th Annual Senior Officer’s Conference at which rape will be one of the topics under discussion, in addition to other pressing issues.
“The conference is very important because that is where we do our own introspection, to determine whether the goals and objectives we have set for ourselves have been achieved or not,” said Mbulawa.
The director of The Women’s Shelter, Kgomotso More, said that they were aware of the shocking numbers because the police always provide them with the statistics as they work hand in hand.
She said as the Women’s Shelter they believe that something should be done with rapists.
“I believe that four strokes should be added as part of the punishment if one is convicted of rape because rape humiliates a woman,” she said.
More said that as the number of rape cases increases, there are only two centers that cater for rape victims in the country and the centers can only take between 15 and 20 women at a time.
She blamed the government for not doing enough, saying that the centers to cater for women in such distress are too few.
Ida Mokereitane, the Executive Director of Emang Basadi, said that their organization condemns rape at all cost, adding that what hurts most is the fact that the government does not recognize marital rape.
“We are busy lobbying for the criminalization of marital rape,” she said.