Sexual violence has become a gruesome topic in the country. On August 7, 2018, Rhodes university hosted a “Rape and the Law” panel discussion, where Dr Benita Moolman, Mx Lisa Vetten, Dr Thulane Gxubane and Advocate Nicola Turner spoke about rape and how to take it to the law. By Hlamvu Yose, Journalism & Media Studies postgraduate student.
Moolman is a research specialist for the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and has worked for the Cape Town Rape Crisis. She focused on the ethical accountability of sexual offenders. Moolman’s study was conducted using KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Western Cape prisons, where she interviewed sexual offenders to see where their habit came from. She came to the conclusion that most sexual offenders do not admit to their crime, and tend to shift the blame to religious or cultural moral stances as a way of trying to justify their actions. Sometimes, it is society that justifies these actions with the attitude, “men/boys are like that”, which helps them get away with their actions and not be held accountable. Moolman said, “Being remorseful and saying sorry does not mean that the person is taking responsibility and accountability for their actions.”
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