Target: Police Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga
Goal: Condemn Namibia police inspector for blaming rape victims by enforcing a miniskirt ban.
Sebastian Ndeitunga, the Police Inspector General of Namibia, has announced that police will arrest women if they are found outside dressed “indecently”. He claims that wearing skimpy clothing provokes rape so that women wearing miniskirts should cover up. His actions promote rape culture by seeking to control women and blame them for being raped. Sign the petition to condemn his policy and remarks.
Namibia has one of the highest levels of violence against women. In 2012, 38 women were killed during sexual assaults. Police arrested 40 women for wearing miniskirts during December 2012 in the town of Rundu. The comments of the police inspector has sparked outrage among women groups and NGO’s in Namibia. Women for Solidarity organized protests in the capital of Windhoek carrying banners reading, “Arrest rapists and not fashionists” and “How dare you minimize my freedom of choice.” Ndeitunga has responded to the outrage by blaming the media for taking his comments out of context. He says that he was acting within Namibian tradition and that elders in Rundu supported his actions.
The Vice Chairperson of the National Council of Namibia issued a statement saying, “That is absolutely nonsense in my eyes. Babies and children are raped. What revealing clothes do they wear? How does a six-month-old or a one-year-old entice and encourage these so-called rapists?” Sign the petition to condemn Ndeitunga’s policy and statements that encourage a rape culture that blames women.
Dear Police Inspector General Ndeitunga,
I am writing as a human rights activist to condemn your policy of arresting women wearing “indecent” clothing and your statements that say that women who wear revealing clothing provoke rape. Rachel Coomer of the Legal Assistance Center in Namibia said, “A person who has been raped should not be blamed for the rape. This includes what they were wearing at the time the rape occurred.” It is the duty of police to protect women by arresting rapists, not by seeking to control what women wear and blaming victims.
Your statements encourage the notion that women who dress a certain way provoke rape or are at fault for their rape. It completely removes any responsibility from men for committing rape. Namibia has one of the highest incidents of sexual violence with 38 women killed during sexual assaults in 2012 alone. This includes babies and children as young as six months or one year old. I urge you to reconsider your policies and apologize for your statements.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Digital Journal via Creative Commons