Police in Swaziland have officially banned women and girls from wearing miniskirts and crop tops because they "promote rape." The news has caused outrage throughout the international community, and protests have already begun across the world.
"The act of the rapist is made easy, because it would be easy to remove the half-cloth worn by the women," police spokeswoman Wendy Hleta was quoted as saying in the Independent Online news. The ban includes low-rise jeans, and offenders "will be arrested."
"I have read from the social networks that men and even other women have a tendency of 'undressing people with their eyes.' That becomes easier when the clothes are hugging or more revealing," Hleta added.
Offenders may face a six-month jail term, which has outraged women and men across the nation and world. According to the Indian Express, the law was enforced "after a march by women and young girls last month calling for protection against a spate of rapes in the impoverished kingdom."
Police tried to prevent the march from happening, but protests still continued throughout the community. Those familiar with the new law have called it outrageous and a setback for the female community.
"How about instead of limiting what can be worn by women you teach your brothers, sons, nephews, and grandsons NOT TO RAPE as doing so makes them the lowest form of animal on Earth?! Blaming women for the crimes visited upon them only shows the rest of the world how backwards these places really are," noted Indian Express reader Evan.
"To criminalize 'rape-provoking' skirts and tops does nothing to protect women and even puts them in a more vulnerable position," tweeted @deelusionada.
According to a 2008 report by the United Nations, "One in three Swazi women has suffered some form of sexual abuse as a child; one in four experienced physical violence."
By comparison, in the United States, one in four women have experienced some form of physical abuse, but sexual assault has fallen by more than 60 percent, according to the Department of Justice.