” Wait until they accuse you of rape,” this is the defense sentiment shared by many men who try to protect an alleged rapist. The statement is itself problematic because it seeks to suggest that women go around falsely accusing men of rape. The parallel commentary that ensured on social media following Lady Zamar’s statement that she was raped by her former ex-boyfriend Sjava was appalling and extremely cruel.
Many men have once again shown their lack of empathy towards sexual violence victims. Many have called Lady Zamar a bitter ex-girlfriend who is trying to ruin the career of ‘their boy’ Sjava after a failed relationship. I need to make a disclaimer that I am a man and I will never understand the painful feelings that many women who are survivors of sexual violence go through.
I can only imagine that for women who have been raped and abused by men in this regard, whenever such careless statements are made, this does make them relive all the trauma once more. The point of contention for these rape apologists is that they want the court of law to be the one that decides whether Sjava is guilty or not guilty of raping Lady Zamar. Granted, the courts will decide the fate of Sjava on this matter as he continues to dismiss the allegations.
However, the insults and doubts from society directed towards Lady Zamar are sickening. When will we stop demanding the ‘rape receipts’ from sexual violence survivors in order to test the credibility of their stories? Why can’t we just believe the rape survivors when they came out with their ordeal, because that takes a lot of guts and bravery. Instead of appreciating their bravado, we make them relive all that trauma they endured at the hands of men by discrediting their stories.
It is time to change our attitude as a society and give the right support to the survivors of rape and gender-based violence. It is up to the court to decide whether the perpetrators of rape and other abuse are guilty or not. Ours is to ensure survivors get the necessary support without making them feel like they need to produce the receipts of their ordeal.
Lady Zamar needs all of us to support her in this period and the courts will deal with Sjava’s innocence or not. Her coming out also does have an impact on her career too since the music industry is still dominated by men who can easily victimize her going forward. So, the argument that she is falsely accusing Sjava to tarnish his career is just shallow.