Republican Party parliamentarian Herlinde Tjiveze has proposed life sentences for rape offenders guilty of sexual assaults on young girls.
Tjiveze made this proposal in parliament on Tuesday. Referring to rapists as monsters, Tjiveze said in order to make men think twice before even considering raping a woman or a child, the sentence needs to be harsh. “My proposal is that men raping women over the age of 16 must be sent to jail for not less than 25 years, without the option of parole and those who rape a person below the age of 16 should be sentenced to life imprisonment, again without the option of parole,” said the lawmaker.
“A monster raping a child must be removed from society forever. Can you imagine the damage that is done to an innocent child being raped? They are scarred for life and that is not because of their own doing.”
Justice minister Yvonne Dausab last month tabled amendments to the Combating Rape Act of 2000 in the National Assembly. The amendments include an additional definition of what constitutes a coercive circumstance for rape, changes in the sentencing for a rape conviction, and extends the scope of individuals considered exceptionally vulnerable. The minister also proposed a new definition pertaining to the use of power or authority to coerce participation in a sexual act.
“The Bill provides additional grounds for coercive circumstances for rape and states that ‘coercive circumstances’ include the abuse of power or authority to such an extent that the person in respect of whom the sexual act is committed is inhibited from indicating his or her resistance to that act or his or her unwillingness to participate in that act,” Dausab said when tabling the Bill.
The Bill proposes that the minimum sentence for a first conviction of rape be increased from five to 10 years, while the sentence for rape committed under coercive circumstances be increased from 10 to 15 years.
It also proposes an increased sentence for conviction of rape of people recognised as exceptionally vulnerable, including persons with mental or physical disabilities, from a minimum of 15 years to 20 years.