Two cases reported recently raise an ugly point that has been long said about narrow-minded, sexist, religious-based, laws that allows convictions of rapists to be overturned and women defending themselves against domestic abuse to be convicted of murder. The Justice Minister must move to protect women under the law from Judged with their legal heads in the sand when it comes to domestic violence and rape.

The High Court Judge involved in both cases referred to in this editorial, justified his decision to agree with the appeal of a convicted rapist because HE doesn’t feel the rape victims actions are in line with what HE thinks a rape victim should do or feel.

Equally, he says that the woman who shot the man who was beating the crap out of her, threatening her life murdered him because at the moment she defended her life, he was not still beating her. He was walking away after raping her spirit over time and in that every physically violent clash.

What 1950’s blame-the-victim lawbooks are our judges reading? Judges must rule according to the laws written, it must never be their personal point of view. And yet, that is what is seems the judges involved used. They have not read a single new study on the psychological impacts of rape and long term violent domestic abuse – or so it seems in the reasons for their rulings.

Heads up women out there – if your man is beating the hell out of you every night for months and years you have to let him keep doing it. If you try to defend yourself AFTER this man kicks you in the head, you are guilty of a crime. You must only defend yourself while he is kicking you in the head for the 10th time. Don’t worry about the fact that you are scared to death of him, that he has destroyed your will to live or that you are convinced that you are a slave to his whims or that he holds your (and your kids’) financial security in his hands, make certain he is stomping on your face before you strike back.

Of course, you cannot plan to let him beat the crap out of you before you plan to strike back. That is premeditation. You must clear your mind of any intention to defend your life. You must be a total lamb to the slaughter. When he bursts your eardrum or blacks your eye or breaks a rib, respond naturally with the pain and fear he is causing. But, remember, the High Court Judges will accuse you unless you let him kill you first.

Rape victims out there. Make sure you respond to being raped the same way a male appeals court judge would. Prey animals, when caught by a predator lie very still and get eaten. Women getting raped, must do this too. Otherwise, no one will believe you have been raped. Informed consent – have the antiquated, archaic Namibian appeals court judges ever heard of that phrase?

We urge the Justice Minister to buy the Black’s Law Dictionary for all judges and magistrates in Namibia. Please get the current edition – throw away your 1970’s editions please.

“The legal definition of consent is, in part, “A voluntary yielding to what another proposes or desires; agreement, approval, or permission regarding some act or purpose, esp. given voluntarily by a competent person; legally effective assent.” (Black’s Law Dictionary (10th ed. 2014) available at Westlaw BLACKS.) Dec 19, 2017

The woman in a taxi going to Eehnana did not consent to have sex with the taxi driver. The magistrate accepted this point and made the CORRECT ruling on that basis. What she did or how she behaved after being violated is irrelevant.

Apparently, the rape victim went home with the taxi driver at the wheel of the transport car to drop her packages first before going back to her stall in the market and on that basis the rape conviction was overturned by the judge making the appeal ruling. He overturned a court trial result based on the fact that HE wouldn’t have gone home and then to the market stall if HE had been raped. What HE would or would not have done has nothing to do with informed consent to having intercourse.

The appeals judge was NOT in the court and did not hear with his own ears the direct testimony. He is reading a text of what was said and deciding a subjective point about what the rape victim did not do according to his own sexist, myopic, outdated point of view.

Justice Minister Dauseb, can you not urge the judges under your ministry to go back to law school in 2020 and learn about what RAPE and DOMESTIC ABUSE are?

They must have workshops about the confirmed studies (many are decades old now!) on the psychology of rape and domestic abuse victims.