Is rape becoming a norm in Mzansi?

By Rethabile Matlala    16-May-2013 14:44 UTC+02:00

South Africa is famously known for the wrong reasons, such as fraud, human trafficking, crime, domestic violence, teenage pregnancy just to name a few. But the worst case which has been trending and making healines on newspapers, television channels, radio stations is the issue of “RAPE” which has become part of South Africa’s cultrue. Is rape becoming a norm in South Africa?

According to official statistics, 127 of every 100,000 people reported sexual offenses last year — though police estimate only one in 36 rapes are actually reported, according to South Africa’spublic broadcasting network (For an inexact but illustrative comparison, the U.S. rate was 52.7 rapes for every 100,000 people in 2011, the last year for which data is available). What is our govenrnment doing to stop this rape culture? I don’t think magazine cover pages or newspaper front pages will do us any justice from ending this unhuman behaviour.

There are many anti-rape NGOs across the country, provice to province, which deal with helping or counselling rape victims and so forth. Yes, they are doing a wonderful job, but when are we going to stop this from happening? Because everyday, at this very moment a young girl/ boy is being raped. Why can’t we live in a country where your father is my father, your daughter or son is my blood and not live in fear?

There’s an NGO called MATLA A BANA. Their aim is to minimize the secondary abuse children suffer, when they report crimes again them. This secondary abuse is often more traumatic than the primary abuse, they also train police officers in soft skills to equip them to work with children. We also train doctors to do expert forensic medical examinations. Specialised services will result in better convictions. How do we stop our own people from harming our children, mothers? We can all learn and be taught how to say “NO” to rape, what happens when I have said “NO”? What happens to the rapists or aspiring rapists or someone who attempted to rape? And how can we be assured that once a rapist has been sentenced and then released from prison, what they did before will never happen again?

We can teach one to say NO TO RAPE, but how do we teach one NOT TO RAPE?stop-rape-now1

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