While a murderer takes away a life of victim, and is depicted as serious crime, the rapist does more than that, sexual assailant leaves big scars on victim which keep bleeding throughout their lifestyle.

Despite all pains which victim finds it difficult to bear, our legal systems are structured only to control such crimes in a sense of giving punishment to perpetrators while leaving victims’ bleeding scars uncovered.

To pin out a point in a case, Chisomo (not her real name) is a girl aged 13 and she is  standard 6 pupil. In month of February this year, her mother discovered that she was sleeping with a man of his 40s who infected her with HIV virus.

photo used for instructive purpose

The development angered the single mother to seek for justice, and April 27 this month Chichiri High Court sentenced the perpetrator, 19 years in prison. Is this going to help her new healthy status, education and her social being?

That is why the mother of victim is still not contented with the judgment.

“Am not satisfied with judgment, ndikufuna ndipite kubwalo lina lalikulu,” She complained.

Defilement and rape are indeed serious crimes need to be seen with new lens, as they damage a soul of victims than what death does on body, degrading their happiness, and rendering them to helplessness.

According to several researches conducted, defilement or rape leads to psychological trauma which result to depression, stress, sleeping disorder, losing self-esteem, find it difficult to concentrate on their education thus becoming dropouts and in worse cases it leads unwanted pregnancy and sexually Transmitted infections (STDs).  The victims are likely to get involved in prostitution, drug abuses, violence and other crimes.

With all these load of consequences, that is why in some countries introduced state crime victim compensation for example, United States of America (USA) while in Europe there some Victim Supports advocating to help victims. The compensation funds are designed to reimburse victims for certain losses and expenses resulting from crime such as medical bills counselling fees and others out of pocket costs incurred by the victims.

In our case, the Ministry of gender, children, disability and social welfare should assist victims to access proper health care, counselling services and appropriate skills training for their rehabilitation and reinsertion into various communities.

The persecutors should make sure that upon judgment is given in a criminal trial, a civil case would also be instituted against the convict.

Meanwhile, the government seems to be passive in taking proper measures and follow-ups for rehabilitation these victims.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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