Dear girls and women, truly you are able; I can testify to that. When I was young in our village there were many cases of sex abuse. One day a woman was raped by a man of a neighboring village, so there was a committee of old men which was in charge of solving community problems. Women were not included in the make-up of this committee. When the committee decided the case, they (comity) asked the accused to pay a fine equal to the amount of an evening of beers for the committee.
This story is only an example of a typical Decision handed down by the all-male committees set to judge the cases brought before them by the community. The Decision given was only the final humiliation, for it came after the victim herself was is tormented at length by many questions that were allowed to be asked by anyone in the room, and obviously asked so as to quash and completely shame the victim.
But what made this particular case standout was that after the unjust Decision was meted out, there were four women who were so incensed at the cold, heartless treatment of the woman who had been raped that when the Decision was given, they rose up and rushed to rapist and began beating him and those standing with him with all the strength they could muster.
My mother just happened to be among those four courageous women. So that evening my family received a subpoena from the local officers of the court, hand delivered by a police man who asked a hen for in lieu of his transportation costs. My Farther was very angry with my mother for her outburst of violence upon hearing the verdict because now he would have to pay a fine. My mother asked my dad, “what could I have done?” The next day morning my dad accompanied my mom to the courthouse and paid the fine for beating the rapist.
Maybe this case was what they would call a landmark case, because it seemed to set a precedent that continues until this day. That day in court was thirty years ago, but now these types of verdicts are commonplace, and the women have been so beaten down by years and years of such humiliations that they have forgotten that they have the power within them to fight against these injustices. But this is the time to take the stand again. You have the power – I have witnessed it – and I will stand with you.