Rape continues to be a dominant problem in Africa, as more victims are reported as casualties of the endemic. Although it is difficult to determine actual rape statistics as most women that have been assaulted tend not to report the incident or withdraw their testimonies due to some form of coercion amongst other factors, the effects of rape cannot be overemphasized.
Rape continues to be a dominant problem in Africa, as more victims are reported as casualties of the endemic. Although it is difficult to determine actual rape statistics as most women that have been assaulted tend not to report the incident or withdraw their testimonies due to some form of coercion amongst other factors, the effects of rape cannot be overemphasized. It destroys the victim’s sense of self, trust in others, and the world, which often leads to drug abuse, suicide, etc.
Rape is not only predominant in African societies but worldwide as well. Statistics from World Population Review estimate that approximately 35% of women worldwide have experienced sexual harassment in their lifetime. However, in most countries with data available on rape (including the U.S.), fewer than 40% of those women seek help—and fewer than 10% seek assistance from law enforcement.
The definition of rape varies from state to state; while some include the use of force and lack of consent, others prioritize penetration and a lack of which doesn’t constitute rape. The International Classification of Crime for Statistical Purposes (ICCS) defines rape as “sexual penetration without valid consent or with consent as a result of intimidation, force, fraud, coercion, threat, deception, use of drugs or alcohol, abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability, or the giving or receiving of benefits”, other define it merely as “sexual intercourse without valid consent.”
This article will briefly be discussing the countries in Africa with the most rape cases, according to data by World Population Review.
Botswana not only topped the chart as the country with the most rape cases in Africa but also the country with the most rape in the world, surpassing countries like Bermuda (4th), Sweden (5th), and Costa Rica (7th), with an index score of 92.93 per 100,000 inhabitants. Nearly 70% of women in Botswana have experienced physical or sexual abuse – more than double the global average, according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), and police statistics indicate a spike in cases this year.
It also doesn’t help that marital rape is not a criminal offense in Botswana. Marital rape is essentially the act of having sexual intercourse with one’s spouse without consent.
Lesotho ranked second in Africa and globally, as the county with the most rape cases with an index score of 82.68 per 100.000 inhabitants.
Lesotho law clearly states that rape is a capital offense potentially punishable by death. Until recently, however, rape was narrowly defined as unlawful sexual intercourse between a man and an unmarried woman or girl without her consent. By definition, it could not take place between a husband and wife. In 2003, a new Sexual Offense Act was enacted into law expanding the definition of rape to include forced sex within marriage; however, most people are unfamiliar with this reconfigured law, which opposes long-held social customs.
A survey data conducted in communities in Lesotho found that 61% of respondents reported having experienced sexual violence at some point in their lives. Forty percent reported experiencing some form of coerced sex and 50% experienced assault. 22% percent of the sample reported being physically forced to have sexual intercourse at some point in their lives.
South Africa has one of the highest numbers of rape cases and violence against women around the world, and at some point, was regarded as the rape capital of the world. They placed third on the list with an index score of 72.1.
According to the report, for the year 2010, South Africa had the highest rate of rape in the world at 132.4 incidents per 100,000 people, which the South African government and its people saw as alarming. In 2020 alone, South Africa reported a number of 42,289 as well as 7,749 sexual assaults. This means that there were a number of 115 rapes per day.
In South Africa, men view sex as a right a Survey by South Africa's Medical Research Council found that 1 in 4 South African men admitted to having "had sex with a woman when she didn't consent," and 46% of those said they had done so more than once.
Countries must broaden the scope of their definition of rape, as well as educate their citizens on the consequences of rape. They also need to review their laws and enact strict punishment for people who commit the heinous offense.