Jeanne Neybecker, le 18/11/2020
South Africa is considered and known as the “rape capital” of the world, with one of the highest rates of sexual offenses happening on a daily basis. During these unusual times, the word “pandemic” is being heard over and over again, making some South Africans reflect on whether this virus should be considered a national pandemic, or whether it is time to finally focus on gender-based violence, the real South African pandemic, and finally put an end to it.
RAPES AND MURDERS ON WOMEN IN SOUTH AFRICA
The statistics here, in South Africa, almost seem surreal. It is indeed believed that 40% of South African women will be raped in their lifetime. In other words, almost half of the women in South Africa get raped, whether it is when they are still kids, or later on in their lives.
The South African police claims that a woman is raped every 36 seconds, with 52 420 sexual offenses reported in 2018/2019, of which 41 500 were rapes. It is however impossible to determine these exact numbers, as most women don’t speak out about their traumatic experiences, that they would much rather forget.
When it comes to South African men, 37% admitted to having raped at least one woman, in a study made in 2010 in Gauteng. Among 1 500 students in Johannesburg, a quarter of the boys interviewed claimed that gang rape was “fun”, and more than half insisted that when a girl says no, she means yes. These studies not only show a disrespect towards women but also a lack of education and a certain ignorance coming from the men questioned.
SOUTH AFRICA’S ANSWERS
A sad and sickening thought for all these victims, is that in most cases, their attacker remains free, carrying on with their lives with not a single punishment, as the statistics show: only 8,6% of perpetrators are jailed.
To stand up for one another in this dangerous environment, social medias have helped a lot. There are numerous accounts offering help to victims, encouraging them to speak up when they’ll be ready, and raising awareness on this major topic.
Many people are also signing petitions, in order to get an answer and an action from President Ramaphosa to protect South African women who are, every day, exposed to danger. Protests are also becoming more and more common.
People, women, but also men and teenagers, get to express themselves and stand amongst the numerous gender-based violence victims of South Africa, allowing them to show their support, to fight for them, and for justice.
Gender based violence keeps happening every day. Speaking about it and emphasizing this major issue is important, in order to raise awareness. South Africa might be considered the rape capital, but these incidents and these people can be found in every country to this day.
If you want to help and stand up for the victims, for yourself and your own beliefs as a man or woman, protests will be happening soon in South Africa’s biggest cities, the link below will give you more information on this.