by Manavi Nag
Rape is a huge issue across the world. And everyone knows it. So why is it that in the UK, an astonishing number of rape cases are going unnoticed or brushed off without any further inspection?
Recently, The Guardian released some statistics regarding rape in the UK. These statistics revealed some frightful things. Some included, out of the more than 4900 investigated and audited rape reports, 552 were found to be inaccurate. This means that 9% of the rape cases were not being recorded or given justice to properly. This may seem like a small number but when you put it into the context of the lasting effects that rape has on people, it becomes a large and life-long sum.
Many rape cases aren’t even being recorded as a crime. Instead, they are being recorded as incidents. Why are authorities and police forces, who are supposed to bring justice to all those that have been mistreated, brushing of rape as if it was not a crime? Rape is a serious offence and can come with life-long effects like depression, PTSD and high anxiety. Not to mention the fact that rapists can walk free, without any consequences and continue to rape many more people resulting in a vicious but extremely possible cycle.
In addition to this, an inspection into police forces showed that vulnerable women who had mental issues, addiction issues or those that are reporting rape in a domestic abuse scenario or have been trafficked into prostitution are more likely and have a larger risk of their cases being ignored by the police forces.
This discovery is appaling and reflects a decline in decades of progress in making rape victim’s voices heard and getting justice for them.
For example, recently in the USA, Cyntonia Brown who was sentenced to life in prison for killing a man who solicited her for sex when she was sixteen (and although she was sixteen she was charged an adult) has been declared parole at 31, after spending most of her life behind bars. This case is highly debatable since she claimed that she killed the man in self-defence after she was raped and trafficked into prostitution by a procurer. However, if she was just trying to protect herself from a man who was raping her, and she got charged with a life sentence in prison, is it really a justified and feasible consequence? If she didn’t protect herself, she would have most likely suffered deadly consequences, so there wasn’t even much of an option left. She was really in a lose-lose situation. And if she was sentenced to life in jail for murder for self-defence, shouldn’t the procurer and the rapist has had an equal sentence?
And in South Africa, a woman killed a man who was raping her daughter and was sent to jail. After a massive outcry, she was eventually let out. However, the damage was done and it further proved women are being prosecuted for trying to protect themselves.
These two incidents happened in the USA and South Africa, so I think it is fair to say, that this issue is global and continues to spread.
However, in the light of these ominously worrisome statistics, can we really have faith in our authorities if they are likely to shove these gargantuan issues under the rug? Why isn’t rape being handled as seriously abduction and abuse? Why should rape victims have to suffer a lifetime knowing that the rapist who raped them is walking the same streets as them freely? And why are vulnerable women being forced to suffer even more?
We might never know. But what we do know is that rape is a salient issue in globally and if a country as economically advanced and developed as the UK are having so many issues bringing justice to rape victims, then imagine the number of issues that under-developed and developing countries are having with it.