Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Letter of the Day | Tambourine critics empower rapists

Published:Wednesday | March 22, 2017 | 3:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The media are allowing the rich and powerful to get away with rape.

We've seen at least four columnists nitpick which parts of the Tambourine Army they like and don't like. In all of this, they've all failed to realise that the movement is not about their egos or opinions. While people waste newspaper and radio space debating if it's OK to say "Bun out rapists!", we're allowing powerful men to star in their own version of 'How To Get Away With Rape'.

The Tambourine Army has presented a 20-point strategic plan on how they plan to uproot and dismantle the culture of silence around sexual violence, and create safe healing spaces of survivors. Instead of other advocacy groups, social commentators and others saying how they will play their part to #BreakTheSilence, they've begun arguing with themselves on whose egos feels most bruised by these young radical feminists.

 

Radical group

 

Yes, the Tambourine Army is a radical group! Not because their members may curse swear words, but because they're intent on destroying structures that protect rapists, paedophiles and sexual predators. These structures include our very churches, the court system, and 'friends in high places', and we need to be ready to accept that.

Instead of discussing whose egos got bruised, let's focus on the work that needs to get done to ensure victims and survivors can get justice and healing.

Over the last few weeks, I've heard horror stories of women and girls who've attempted to report incidents of rape and sexual abuse to the police, only to be met with more sexual violence from people who claim to 'serve, protect and reassure'. Who do I tell these girls to report to? When do we realise that our court system does not do enough to provide justice nor healing?

We're wasting time trying to coddle the egos of persons who feel offended by this radical group, instead of playing our part to help survivors #BreakTheSilence.

In a perfect world, we would not need a radical group protecting our women and girls, but this is not a perfect world. Survivors and victims are watching how we react when people decide to #BreakTheSilence and say the names of their abusers.

If we keep being sceptical of the names we see, we're complicit in allowing these powerful men to get away with rape. Survivors need supportive and healing spaces to #BreakTheSilence. If they need an army of people ready to protect them when they do it, then so be it.

JHERANE PATMORE

jheranep@gmail.com

Equality For All Foundation