Who do we trust?

EDITOR— I am very disturbed by a story I read in your paper about a father who was caught raping his 12-year-old daughter.

This comes at a time cases of rape are on the increase in Zimbabwe.

I don’t understand why a father who is supposed to be looking after his child ends up being the one who abuses her.

At first I thought its sexual attraction until I read the story of a man who was caught inserting his fingers in to the privates of  three-year-old baby.

This is the worst case of rape I have ever heard.

What pleasure does a man expect to derive from having oral sex with an infant? What a distorted imagination, I think we should seriously consider sentencing sexual offenders to death.

I was relieved when I heard that President Robert Mugabe is open to castration for sexual offenders.

It sounds too harsh a punishment but consider the damage caused to the child.

People are quick to think of physical consequences of rape but they neglect issues like emotional harm and psychological repercussions, which in my opinion are unbearable.

I heard the story of teenage boys who committed suicide after being raped when they were young.

They failed to cope with the ordeal. Counselling helps, but only to some extent.

People later struggle with trust issues or low self esteem,  they develop multiple phobias and may even end up not believing in God.

The worst case scenario is when a child is raped by an HIV positive person who then passes the deadly virus to him/ her.

Stricter measures should be put to ensure that children are protected from molestation.

I attended a convention held by Childline in the Midlands Province and the speaker pointed out that in spite of efforts to combat or curb child molestation the cases were still on the rise.

She appealed to members of the  public to join hands and act as watch dogs who report anything sinister to the relevant authorities.

They have a toll-free number but people rarely report matters of child abuse.

In the case of the father who occasionally raped his daughter, the house maid was threatened if she took any form of action.

I complement her for her bravery because in spite of the threats from her employer she gathered enough courage to raise alarm among neighbours.

Some people on the other hand are cowered into silence and they just grow up with bitterness, hatred and  trust issues.

The worst case of violence against children involves the government officials who stole twins from their neighbour with the intention of using them in rituals.

This is the worst of all scenarios because the officials pledge to defend our rights and protect us of from all harm both local and foreign yet they are they ones who shamelessly perpetrate injustice against our children.

Clearly, no one can be trusted to safeguard the interests of our little ones, not even their parents, members of the community in which they live or even the government. What a shame!

D Zvemisha,

Harare

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