Majority of men believe that some women get raped because of the way they dress, a new study
Majority of men believe that some women get raped because of the way they dress, a new study says. The survey reveals that more than two in three men blame provocative dressing for rape. The women “behave and dress in a way that makes men want to have sex with them.”
The findings also notes that one in three men believe that it is not considered rape to force a drunk woman to have sex.
These are among the findings tabled in a study conducted by civil society organisations regarding the attitude and
behaviour of men towards gender based violence.
The study was released during the launch of the One Million Fathers Movement, an initiative that seeks to involve men in the fight against gender based violence.
Speaking during the launch, Nairobi Women’s Hospital CEO Sam Nthenya said that the aim of the movement was to get a million men countrywide to commit to the fight against gender based violence.
“Studies have shown that 90 per cent of gender violence perpetrators are men,” he said, “as such, it is important to reach out to the men committing these crimes, get them to change their attitudes towards violence and have them mentor young boys to grow up into men who respect women.”
Also present at the launch was the executive director for Men for Gender Equality Now (Megen) Phillip Otieno who decried the negative stereotypes that he says the media has propagated against men.
The increased coverage of stories of rape and marital violence was impacting negatively on the development of young boys and conditions them to believe that men are wired for violence, which is not the case.
“We need more positive stories about men to show boys that there are men that do not beat or rape women, and this will enable them to identify such men as role models,” he argued.
The study, which was conducted in Coast, Rift Valley and Central regions, found that a majority of respondents agree that gender based violence is a widespread phenomenon in Kenya.
Out of the 3,000 men interviewed for the study, 2,470 believe that it is unacceptable to hit a woman or children, and 2,015 said that it is unacceptable to force a woman to engage in sex.
However, even though the numbers indicate that more men are now aware that gender based violence is wrong, women remain the biggest victims of the vice.
Out of the 27,000 cases of gender based violence reported to the Gender Violence Recovery Centre (GVRC) since March 2001, women and girls make up more than 90 per cent of the victims. This year alone, 1,864 cases have been reported.
More worrying is the fact that 87 per cent of all reported cases of gender based violence are committed by people known to the victims, with the survey revealing that 17 per cent of cases of sexual violence are committed by the victims’ fathers.
While releasing the results of the study, GVRC Executive Director Alberta Wambua said that cases of gender based violence cases reported at her centre continue to increase.
“Approximately eight cases are reported to us everyday, although on some days, the number increases to as many as 30,” she said.
Conversely, an increasing number of respondents felt that rape should not be kept a secret, indicating a shift in formerly prevailing attitudes that rape is a victim’s shameful burden which should remain a skeleton in the victim’s closet.
In addition, an overwhelming number of respondents expressed confidence that if someone in their family was raped, they would know how quickly the victim would need medical access.