Home Opinion and Features Monsters walk among us

Monsters walk among us


We make no effort to get involved, to do whatever we can to avoid the same atrocity from happening to another

A group of concerned citizens have launched a fundraising campaign to help the seven-year-old girl who was allegedly raped at a Dros restaurant. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

It may take a village to raise a child but it also takes one to rape one. You see, in those instances when the sexual assault of a child is reported, resulting in charges, conviction and sentencing, then one … maybe two people are held accountable and brought to book..

Then, in exchange for stealing a child’s innocence and ruining a life, these dregs of society have a few years of freedom politely withheld, in the name of justice.

Like it or not, we endorse this system. We may do so in an inaudible whisper, which we try desperately hard to drown out with the loudest of public outcry, echoed with self-righteous indignation, but when our ears stop ringing from the sound of our own voices, criticisms and complaints, we return to minding our own business and do precious little else.

We make no effort to get involved, to do whatever we can to avoid the same atrocity from happening to another.

In fact, we do quite the opposite.

Instead, we allow ourselves to be shocked into silent submission, turning a blind-eye and a deaf-ear until the next time.

We brood and simmer and wait until we learn that more innocence was lost and then we speak out … again.

As soon as the opportunity arises, our outcry and outrage return. The shock … the horror … the heartbreak the trauma.

“How does this happen?” we ask ourselves. “How dare he?

“What kind of a sick animal does that to a child? Why? Is there no justice in the world?”

Well, maybe there is and maybe there isn’t. For there to be justice, there first needs to be innocence and when that is being stripped from our communities, one statistic at a time, we raise alarms, even our voices but never our standards.

So, since we actually don’t do much to prevent similar injustices from occurring in our communities, we must be satisfied that justice has prevailed.

Are we?

Call me naive, deluded, idealistic or just plain crazy but I like to think that no sane, rational, decent person rapes a child.

This may sound stupid to some but I believe, in order to wrap your head around doing something that depraved, especially to a defenceless and vulnerable victim, takes a pretty disturbed, broken and sick individual.

Sadly, these monsters walk among us. There may be a special place in hell for them but until they reach that final destination, there is precious little we can do to rid our world of bad, broken people.

We can try to protect our children from them by keeping them out with higher walls and fences, sharper spikes and higher voltage.

We can warn our children of “stranger danger”, and simple explanations of how to distinguish between a good touch and a bad one.

We can make sure that they are well versed in the meaning of the word “no” and emphasise that they may use it. We can even watch them like hawks to keep the undesirable elements away.

Or, we can call for the death penalty. Surely, that would serve as a deterrent or simply scare them into impotence. Surely?

Sadly, it won’t.

We would simply invite these monsters into our homes through the front door. After all, they aren’t strangers.

They’re family or familiars most of the time. They might be weird, even wicked, but you can’t pick them.