A disturbing story from Zimbabwe emphasizes the fact that although in the vast majority of cases, rape is perpetrated by men against women (and sometimes other men), women can also commit rape. In this case, a Zimbabwean man has accused three women of drugging, robbing and raping him. Police say that this is the fifth such attack against a man this year.
The victim says that the three women offered him a ride, but passed out when the women pressed a cloth covered in some alcoholic substance against his face. “After he woke up he was naked and the ladies took turns to rape him and abuse him,” said police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena.
There is currently no law on the books in Zimbabwe for rape by a woman, a gendered judicial oversight that clearly needs to be corrected. In the other incidents, women have raped men at gunpoint, and last month, two women forced a man to have (protected) sex with them while another man stood guard.
Whether or not this can be called a trend, this much is clear: there needs to be serious attention paid to the fact that men can also be victims of rape, and that in many cases there is more social stigma attached to men speaking out about sexual assault. Countries like Zimbabwe that don’t acknowledge the possibility of rape by women are institutionally silencing these survivors. The women in this case have been charged with aggravated assault, but that’s just not good enough.
Photo from Flickr.