Beyond Victim Blaming

Our polygamous Youth Affairs minister Ronald Kibuule is in the news again for espousing the victim-blaming bullshit that allows a culture in which girls like 9 year old Hanisha Nambi can be raped and murdered in her own neighborhood.

Dressing indecently invites rape and defilement on oneself, Kibuule says. Rape victims who come forward to the police should first have their dressing examined, Kibuule says. Those rape victims found to be dressing indecently should themselves be charged with a crime, Kibuule says. Those who rape women indecently dressed should go unpunished, according to Kibuule.

I assume that most of you can see why this is a disgusting thing for a youth minister to be advocating for in public, but if you don’t get it, let me break it down for you in simple terms:

  1. Women can and should be able to dress however the fuck they want without being harassed, assaulted or raped.
  2. It is not the responsibility of any woman to keep from getting raped, it is the responsibility of men to not rape anybody
  3. Dressing in whatever way Mr Kibuule considers “indecent” (in the article he mentioned miniskirts, bikinis and tight jeans” is not an invitation to rape. If you walk past an open house and help yourself to a flatscreen TV you are still a thief. The same applies if you commit the heinous act of rape.
  4. Rape is not about men’s failure to control themselves, and men, the vast majority of whom are upstanding, empathetic human beings, should be insulted by Mr Kibuule’s suggestion that they cannot exercise self control. Rape is about dominating women’s bodies and keeping them in their place as subordinate in our society. It is an expression of power over those less powerful than oneself whether those people be men, women or children
  5. Sexual violence remains a huge issue in our society. It is one of the leading crimes in Uganda but the perpetrators often go unpunished. 39% of Ugandan women over the age of 15 have experienced sexual violence. One in four women between the ages of 15-49 experienced rape as their first sexual intercourse[i]. According to a 2011 Crime and Traffic Police Report, while some 8,000 cases on defilement and 520 cases of rape were investigated, only 269 suspects were arrested and charged in court. Over 197 cases have been reported in the media between June and September 2013 alone. In an ideal world, the sexual violation of women and girls would be as unthinkable as cannibalism[ii], but people like Kibuule create a society where men can rape and get away with it, where women are blamed for it and thus fear to report it.

The Honourable Minister Kibuule is directly contributing to a culture in which Hanisha and hundreds of other little girls just like her can be raped and murdered and her killers go free. Demand for his resignation. Sign the petition here

[i] UHDS, 2006

[ii] I’m paraphrasing Mary Pipher here

2 thoughts on “Beyond Victim Blaming

  1. I understand the anger and I am all for freedom of expression, I feel it too but perhaps a more mature way of phasing the message (obscenity aside) this article might be greater appreciated by the audience. Just my 2 cents.


  2. Reblogged this on You'll need an umbrella, I think and commented:

    Kampire says all there is to say.
    Watching NTV news was very hard for me. The comments were disgusting, triggering, distrubing, heartbreaking.
    One father said that his daughter’s dressing is so disgusing, it deserves rape. I felt like rolling on the ground and weeping forever.
    Fuck a society where a father can say such a thing.
    Fuck misogyny.
    Fuck having Kibuule as youth minister.


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