Day 13 of 16: Corruption is a Silencer

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We are inching closer and closer to the end of #16DaysofActivism. And before we get to the final day, I wanted to share how corruption or corrupt people increasingly silence gender based violence victims. Many victims are suffering because of it, so maybe it is high time we just speak about it.

What is corruption?

Cambridge Dictionary has defined it as dishonest or illegal behavior involving a person in a position of power. We often use this to describe politicians, traffic police or just the police in general and more for being corrupt. Some of the perpetrators of gender based violence are also notorious for being corrupt.

Perpetrators use corruption to create barriers for victims to access the justice system. Corruption comes with manipulation and could be done to different people so as to create gatekeepers.

Unfortunately, women are direct victims of corruption. For example, a university officer could ask for sex from a female student who isn’t able to finish her fees. With hopes that they’ll be allowed in classrooms again. Or, bosses asking for sex from ladies with promises of job security in the organization. Corruption is everywhere.

Now, it doesn’t always take form of sexual favors, sometimes, corruption is done to others and not the victims themselves.

Look at it from this angle…..

Imagine a lawyer, who is well known in the justice system, using their influence to silence victims. They use police officers to act as an intimidating figure to victims. More people are used to showcase their super power above yours.

And most times, they will victimize those in poverty, or with less influence in society. Those that don’t have power to challenge them.

Effects of corruption

Unfortunately, measurement of corruption does not take into consideration issues of gender. Considering that women are directly affected, corruption harms the following for them:

  • Access to public services. If we take the example of the lawyer, the victim does not have access to the police. This is because their abuser has penetrated and manipulated his way and made them act like his shelter.
  • Hindering from the use of human rights. This is because the law has been taken from the hands. In cases of a corrupt police and judicial system, two organizations that are meant to preserve the rights of everyone will strip away rights of victims.
  • Restricts information flow in order to allow for bribes and corruption to take place. Thus, it gives more power and dominance to those that are abusers and silencers.

More than ever, as we fight those that are corrupt, we also need to have a closer look to those continuously silencing victims of gender based violence

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