By Keletso Dube for We The Future
A mother of a six-year-old child who survived sexual assault when the offender’s assault was foiled says her daughter’s life is at risk as the 16-year-old perpetrator was released back into the community without any rehabilitation.
The mother, from St Elizabeth in Insuza says she caught the offender, who was a herd boy, in the act of trying to rape her daughter but no one believes her.
“I was outside the house answering my call as usual, when my phone rings l always go out to answer because they will be making noise. I found him on top of my child.
“The thing that hurts is that his relatives are defending him saying that the child must be lying but l saw him with my own eyes.”
The mother reported the alleged offender to the police, who asked her to bring the daughter for their investigations. They later locked up the alleged offender and advised her to take the kid to the hospital.
“I took my child to the hospital and they checked her whether she was HIV positive or not and it was found that she was not. We were also referred to St Lukes Hospital where she was checked thoroughly and they said the boy attempted to rape her but he didn’t break her. We were given a written note,” she said.
She says the police later referred them to the Tredgold Magistrates’ Court in Bulawayo where they were referred back to Insuza.
“We are in pain because we found the perpetrator outside bars, and when l asked one of the police officers at Insuza he said the boy is underage and the hospital report is the one that will determine whether to arrest him or not. There might be a possibility that the perpetrator might wait for her on her way to school and rape her”.
She says she feels betrayed by members of her family and other community members who are refusing to believe her.
This article was produced under CITE’s We The Future project. The We The Future project seeks to increase the participation of young women in local and national governance processes through capacity building on digital skills.