Insights into sexually related misconduct & answering questions about the crime.
Last month, Kenyans were treated to a debacle when two gospel artists were accused of taking advantage of a lady. The lady in question apparently wrote to the two musicians requesting to advance her career as a video vixen. One thing led to another and the two started exchanging intimate texts and even met up. After the meeting, the lady accused one of the musicians of taking advantage of her and raping her. In addition, the other musician apparently invited over the second time and infected her with herpes as she alleges.
The musicians were later involved in a public apology stunt where the devil was blamed for guiding them to sin. (oh, I feel sorry for the devil) Later, the FIDA Kenya offered to represent the lady against the musician. As at this time, the lady has not come forward to accept the invitation for representation. The behavior of the two musicians who are ‘leading gospel artists’ is reprehensible, below their moral standing and outright bad. But we will come to them later.
Given the lady’s story, several issues have come up. This article will endeavour to address each of the issues and provide a way forward.
Can the conduct of DK be construed as Rape?
The victim alleges that D.K penetrated her without her consent. According to the Sexual Offences Act, a conduct can be termed as rape if: he or she intentionally and unlawfully commits an act which causes penetration with his or her genital organs; the other person does not consent to the penetration and the consent is obtained by force or by means of threats or intimidation
of any kind. Simply put, rape is the forceful penetration of an adult without their permission. Which then takes us to the next question about consent
What is consent when it comes to sex?
As seen above, rape happens when the consent of the recipient is not obtained. Consent simply implies permission or the agreement by a person to engage in sexual activities. If someone has agreed to sexual relations, he or she cannot accuse the other party of consent. However, there is a new trend where individuals are drugged or given a lot of alcohol before engaging in sexual relations. The joke is called ‘marinating the prey.’ This cannot be termed as consent. And the individuals who engage in this conduct can be convicted of rape. In this instance, the victim alleges that she did not agree to penetration from D.K and as such, his conduct can be termed as rape. Remember, for a person to be considered to have given consent, he or she ought to be conscious, agrees by choice or has the freedom or capacity to give consent.
What should have been done by the lady upon realizing that she was raped?
From the above, it is evident that the lady did not agree to sexual relations and thus what was committed to her was rape. Then what should she have done?
First and foremost, she SHE SHOULD NOT shower, cut her hair or nails and have a change of clothes. The importance of this is that it ensures that evidence of the rape is not tampered with. And if you decide to have a change of clothes, put the ones you had in a brown bag (like the one sugar is packed in) and carry them with you to the doctor and police station.
The next step is to visit a hospital. Preferably a government hospital. The importance of visiting the hospital is for medical examination, You see, the doctor checks you for sexually transmitted infection or HIV and AIDS. He also ascertains if there was rape and fills in a Post Rape Care form.
Thirdly, visit the police station. Here, you will record your statement and be examined by the police doctor. He fills in a P.3 form. Here the evidence is preserved and the police pursue criminal charges against the accused person.
Lastly, visit a psychology/counselor to help you offset the trauma.
Is infecting someone with an STI an offence?
The lady alleges that D.K infected her with herpes. According to the Sexually Offences Act and The HIV & AIDS Act, knowingly infecting someone with a sexually transmitted disease is an offence.
Why do victims of sexual violence/misconduct take time before reporting the ordeals?
After the lady’s story came out, some people questioned why she took long to report the incident. Were it not for the corroboration and the admission by the two musicians, she could have been rendered as a person who wished to reap where she didn’t sow. Many victims of sexual misconduct are always afraid to report their accusers mostly because of their standing in the society. In addition, most people hold prominent persons to such high standards that believing a victim takes a tall order. This can explain why most are afraid. For example, when Anita Hill testified in congress against a Judicial nominee, She was rebuffed.
However, a research done by the New York Times concluded that the fear and the trauma that comes as a result of the sexual violence prohibits some members from reporting these incidences. It also stated that if the
perpetrator is someone the woman trusted, it can take years for the victim even to identify what happened to them as a violation. The report was looking at why Christine Blasin Ford took over 20 years to report her accuser, Judge Kavanaugh.
What is the importance of reporting incidences of sexual violence?
Many ladies prefer keeping quiet when sexual violence/misconduct is propagated against them. Some do not see the importance of reporting these incidences. If it someone they know, they have this misconception of that they will change. However, it has been found out that when an accessory to a crime is not reported, there are high instances of repeating the offence. It’s the same way, when someone stole sugar from the kitchen and wasn’t caught had the incentive to repeat the crime.
Consequently, if victims of sexual assault/misconduct do not report their accusers, they (accusers) have a tendency to repeat the crime. And the more the crime is repeated, the greater the victims.
Why is it that the propagators of sexual violence are only prominent men?
Looking at the major cases that have been reported about sexual violence, most accused persons are prominent men. Men with a ‘name and standing’ in the society. Some of them include Harvey Weinstein, Donald Trump, Kevin Spacey, former Costa-Rican president among many others. Even looking at this case, the accused were ‘prominent’ gospel artists. Looking at the list, many have questioned whether its only prominent men who propagate this violence. Some people have argued that this is because of the financial muscle of these people and the potential dollars they would get, they report them.
However according to Amanda Taub, the reason the ‘accused’ are prominent men is because most victims rally around when it comes to prominent men. According to her the reason why ‘other men’ are not accused is because most victims of others do not support a cause where the men are not prominent. And there is still violence been propagated against women.
What should guys do?
Given what the #metoo has done to the careers to prominent persons, most men are afraid of hiring female employees. Some are even afraid of being in a room with a woman or even working with them.
Given that women are also products of creation, we should not be afraid of them. Rather, men should endeavor to treat them with respect. This will ensure a cohesive society.
Like a piranha, sexual violence continues to bite. And like evolution, sexual violence is continuing to change with the current trends. Given the status quo of the two musicians, there is a higher threshold that the society has set and expects them to abide by it. Their actions cannot in any way be praised. They ought to be rebuked with the strongest words and actions as possible. Moreover, choices have consequences. What you do in the dark shall soon come to light. For example, Judge Kavanaugh found himself as talk of the town because of something he did when he was a teenager. D.K is facing a possible 15-year sentence as a result of his actions against the lady. Donald Trump found himself trending because of lewd comments he made against ladies in what Trevor Noah calls ‘the Billy Bush bang bus.’
For the ladies, don’t be quick to trust. The fact that somebody is a prominent or is a gospel artist does not deprive him of sin and temptation. Rather, status is like a crown that can be worn and taken away based on the circumstances. And once you remove the crown, the same human being who was cast out of the garden remains. And being a cast off from Eden, man is prone to sin. This desire and temptation to sin is activated when put in compromising situations. Therefore, given that human nature, it is imperative on ladies to first acquaint themselves before giving themselves away to anybody including prominent people.
Moreover, for the ladies, never accuse a person wrongly of sexual misconduct. For example, Asia Argento, a leader of #metoo was accused of paying off her accuser so as he could remain silent about what she had done to him. Its more of, looking at a spec on your brother’s eye and yet you have a log in your own.
Lastly given that sexual misconduct is also being propagated against men, these insights shall apply mutatis mutandis to the ladies when they advance unsolicited actions against men.