By Palesa Khambi, Group Marketing Manager (MP) SA
South Africa has one of the highest rates of gender-based violence and rape in the world. These crimes happen every day and all night across our country.
Rape is a crime committed through a sexual act without the consent or agreement between one or more of the people involved. It is traumatic, humiliating and has life changing consequences. You can be raped by a stranger, by someone you know including a teacher, pastor, relative, parent or sibling, or by someone you are going out with. You can even be raped by your spouse.
Gender based violence including rape encompasses explicit violence including murder, the removal of someone’s autonomy, degradation and victimisation. It also contributes directly to increasing the incidence of HIV, which is where Right to Care’s focus lies. Right to Care delivers prevention, care, and treatment services for HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and TB. Dealing with HIV and STI prevention means we need to consider gender-based violence and rape prevention.
Someone’s choice of clothing, their choice to drink alcohol, their choice to be flirtatious, or their silence are not crimes. Rape is a crime.
While women bear the brunt of gender-based violence, men can be raped too. Some people still believe that gay men and women deserve to be raped. She says the force used by a rapist to subdue a male victim is often much more violent than that used towards a woman. Manipulation is also often used to control and overpower younger boys and teenagers.
So, what must you do when you get raped?
The police should take you to a private room and you can request a female officer.
The issue of under reporting remains a challenge in quantifying and monitoring levels of gender-based violence and rape. Through our partnerships with funders, government, civil society, traditional and religious leaders, we encourage every victim of gender-based violence or rape to report the crime.
Right to Care works with both the Department of Health and the Department of Correctional Services to prevent gender-based violence, rape and HIV.
You can also find more information here: https://www.thedailyvox.co.za/8-organisations-fighting-gender-based-violence-shaazia-ebrahim/
Here are some important contact numbers for women of all ages who feel they need support in any aspect of their lives right now:
Please also download our Dreams booklet here..