Local group names and shames ‘rapists’
A Facebook group that was opened on Monday, September 2 has caused a nationwide stir after it quickly turned into a naming and shaming platform for sexual violation victims, with most posts from the Buffalo City Metro.
The group titled Not Another Child has already gained 72 000 followers in less than a week of its existence. Women are naming and shaming perpetrators, dating back to their childhoods who have gone unreported and unpunished.
There has been an outcry over what people call ‘defamatory’ implications and the fairness of posting people’s names and pictures alongside gruesome details of how and when rape and sexual violations have occurred.
According to the anonymous administrator, the purpose of the group is: “purely to explore the possibility of bringing back the Death Sentence on specific crimes including rape and murder in South Africa. In this regard, we request everyone to mobilise on the ground and do their research such that we may propose workable solutions to the country. It cannot be that as the citizens and countries of the world can be held ransom by reckless criminals who do not respect humanity.”
This however, has changed as pastors, family members and businessmen have been implicated in the posts so far. Some men have vehemently spoken out about their dissatisfaction with the existence of the group and have challenged the said victims to open cases and allow the law to take its cause.
One gentleman, one of the first people to be named, wrote on the group that his alleged victim must report him to the nearest police station and he will come running. Unfortunately, the post did not receive a desired response from him, as more and more women confessed that he had violated them too. Soon after, he deleted his post.
In a scathing attack, one man commented that women should try and fix their own gender before attacking men. He added that porn is the biggest feeder of sexual fantasies and that women are the service providers that feeds the porn industry.
With that said, women also came out strongly against each other questioning the validity of shares, with some accusing others of being bitter and jealous and seeking to destroy men who had left them to start families with others. This was shunned upon by women in the group, claiming that lack of support and harsh judgement from fellow women is the reason why crimes go unreported.
One woman said: “I hope and pray that the stories posted here are true and that there are no hidden agendas. I have brothers, male friends and uncles whom I would find it hard to believe that they have committed such crimes. However, I advise that if they commit a crime, a charge must be laid against them. People are brutally killed out there and some are serving years in jail for crimes they didn't commit. It has become common that females accuse men of rape especially if things did not end well in a relationship.”
Some men who have joined the group have come out in full support of women and the campaign to bring back the death penalty through the naming and shaming. Some have posted videos re-assuring women that they are loved either through words, or songs they have compiled.
Collective voices in the group encouraged women to build a sisterhood that will be a solid shield to ensure safety and that women raise young boys that will be taught how to treat and respect others. Religious institutes are said to be the ideal platform for a support system for women.
As it stands, the group has assumed a multi-faceted role, spearheaded by the naming and shaming that seems to be taking precedence.