Men accused of rape must be charged, plead as soon as possibleDecember 22, 2022
It is difficult not be conflicted about the report that an activist has gone to court to challenge the law which prohibits publicly naming an accused charged with rape or other sexual offences before they have pleaded in court.
Caroline Peters, founder of the Callas Foundation, wants the relevant section of the Criminal Procedure Act declared unconstitutional and invalid. She says it “constitutes a tool to silence women from speaking out against sexual offences”.
ALSO READ: Life sentence for man who raped his 13-year-old granddaughter
Peters also claims that the law discriminates against women – who are the main victims of sexual violence – based on their gender.
It is true that, when it comes to sex offences, the scales of justice in this country are tilted severely against women.
Merely reporting assault is traumatic, as male police officials seldom take charges seriously. Then there is the whole process of providing statements, getting medical examinations and later testifying in court. That’s why rape is so under-reported.
At the same time, though, a false accusation of rape against a man – and these are not unheard of – can destroy his life and that of his family.
ALSO READ: KZN father on the run after raping five-year-old daughter
The solution, we think, is to ensure men accused of rape must be charged – and plead – as soon as possible.