The number of rape cases in Somali is rising. Bashe Mohamed Farah, the bill speaker of the lower house of parliament, spoke up about the increase of these cases in the country. In 2018 the government passed a law against rape and penal codes that recognizes more sexual offenses. This law was passed after years of lobbying by children and women’s rights advocates. Before the bill, sexual offenders were punished by being forced to marry the survivor.
Elders following religious instructions punished some. These instructions stated that a perpetrator was to be lashed a hundred strokes or stoned to death. Therefore, with the survivor being forced to get married to the victim, it was more of a punishment to her. With the laws passed, the residents anticipated very few or no rape cases in the country. Women expected to feel safe around men. However, this was not the case.
Cousins Who Were Raped On Their Way Home.
Two girls whose identity remain hidden were on their way home from school when they were assaulted. These young girls are three and four years of age. This incident happened in Afgoye, close to the capital, Mogadishu. As the two girls headed home, they were seized by men who took them away and sexually assaulted them. The parents were distraught when the girls did not show up after school. They searched for them desperately in the neighborhood; however, they found the girls seated alone the following day.
The girls looked terrified, and one could tell something was amiss. The girls looked injured; therefore, the parents rushed them to the hospital where they found out about the assault. Dr. Mohamed Yusuf Mohamed, the doctor in charge of the hospital where they are being treated, says the girls are in critical condition. He also added that they need to undergo three major surgeries.
Residents In Rage Following the Rape Cases.
“The fact that the girls are aged just four and three have added to the shock in this country. Reports of rape have rapidly increased in recent years,” Ross an editor said.
It is said that such horrific crimes have been taking place for a long time now. However, residents are currently more aware of the need to publicize the incidents to bring about the necessary change. Recently women led an anti-rape protest in Somali’s Puntland area. Local women say they have had enough. They are now scared of the men that should protect them. They feel oppressed; it almost like they do not have a life. Women added that despite the law, suspects are often released without a trial.
“Today, we don’t believe that men who abuse women will be arrested and brought to justice. Instead, it will be left to customary laws and elders. We demand that these crimes be handled according to law and get justice.” Says one of the female protestors.
Government’s Reaction To These Cases.
The government in Somalia has condemned the abduction and rape of two girls aged just three and four. An official said several arrests had been made following the attack, which happened on Wednesday. In another rape case, five men were sentenced to death after gang-raping a young girl.
“Women don’t want compensation. We don’t want money, and we will not compromise. We want justice, stop raping our women and girls” this is the cry of the women in Somalia.