It’s easy to write it off. It’s easy to claim it doesn’t exist. It easy to say that people are blowing it out of proportion whenever they talk about the existence of rape culture and how both conscious and unconscious actions and inactions are creating a somewhat enabling environment for rape to continue to exist among us.
For some time now and ever since the Me Too movement took hold in the United States of America and spilt over across to other countries and continents… a number of Ghanaians have been quick to claim that people who claim the existence of rape culture in the Ghanaian society are propagating a western ideology that is foreign.
However, it is here in Ghana that chiefs, religious and community leaders will visit the home of a rape victim and beseech on the victim’s family to discontinue the police case and “bring it home for them to settle the matter”.
Sometimes, libation will be poured, the elders will talk among themselves and settle the matter – most of the time, no culprit doesn’t face any punishment.
The victim, on the other hand, lives the remainder of his or her live scared forever.
Yet… people will be quick to claim there’s nothing like Rape Culture in the country.
If you’ve ever believed that rape culture doesn’t exist in Ghana, or have encountered such a person – here’s what you need to arm yourself with the next time you have to call out Rape Culture
Have a dialogue
Perpetrating Rape Culture can be disused as jokes or political opinion. Being open to listening to people who have experienced sexual violence can build understanding and support.
Lean into awkward conversations
As condescending sexual innuendo comments creep into both mainstream and social media, it’s vital to speak out when it feels safe. Start by expressing how someone’s words make you feel.
Talk about people, not numbers…
If someone is complaining about how there is so much focus on sexual awareness, ask what they would do… for example to protect a loved one who has been raped with the alleged rapist free.
Say what you’re for
For the Know No campaign, we’re not just against the propagation of rape culture, we’re for a society where we can all live freely and without fear of being sexually abused by the stranger or a familiar face one knows.
It’s up to all of us to make that a reality.
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