Legal practitioner and advocate of the High court of Uganda Winter Sylvia Diana said that people are quick to blame victims of sexual harassment for causing the circumstances that befell them instead of their offenders.
“Looking at the factors surrounding the person who is abused, we are so quick to ask how it happened and why. For you being abused is not as important as why you were abused, how and where. If I were moving out in the night past midnight to get something as a lady, and say, I got assaulted during that time I will be blamed for having been out at that time,” Winter Sylvia said.
Winter was appearing on RX Radio’s Brunch Talk with Olive Najjuma, to discuss the incidences of rape and sexual harassment after a Celebrity and socialite Sheebah Karungi, took to her social media to condemn a one prominent person whose name she withheld for sexually harassing her.
Although many of her fans sympathized with her, a number faulted her dress code and the flirtatious stunts she always throws to her fans on stage and in her music videos.
But according to the lawyer such an argument is an absurdity and the highest form of ignorant argumentation saying that, for one to be raped, they do not need to be wearing skimpy or short clothes because there are instances of defilement of babies, and rape carried out on 80 year old women.
“My dressing is mine to own and your hands are yours to keep. People keep on saying that she is indecent but do I need a tape measure to define your decency definition? So, is it me dressing indecently or it is your brain that is indecent. Personally I move out knowing I am decent and dressed for myself, to feel good and confident in what I am wearing.”
“Then you, the definition of decency, feels am not decent for you and you go on to undress me because you feel it's too short, you have to remove it. And when you remove it and touch me, who will be more grossly indecent if we are to define indecency?” she asked.
She further defended the singer saying that the singer dresses the way she does on stage because she is a musician, it's her office and the type of music she does calls for it.
Regardless of the dress code, the lawyer said that if a person feels attracted to touch the singer or any other person, they should ask for consent rather than feeling entitled to another person’s body and weaponizing their dress code.
Nevertheless, Olive warned women to be cautious not to put on overly revealing clothes when going to high risk places where they could easily be harassed for example in markets as a matter of self preservation arguing that even though the law brings justice, it does so after the act has been already done.
But on the contrary, Winter believed that rapers will always do the crime no matter the place, person, dress code. She said that rapists always harbor their thoughts waiting to make a move when the opportunity is given.
“Some men need to take themselves out of the act of assaulting women because when they fail to, it's the reason why some resort to animals. Because at the end of the day, if you are meant to do an evil deed on someone, you will, regardless of where the person is,” she said.
Brunch Talk is hosted by Olive Najjuma Monica every Saturday from Midday to 1pm on RX Radio.