Sat Apr 19 11:36:51 SAST 2014
Sat Apr 19 11:36:51 SAST 2014

SA's curse of sex abuse

Dec 19, 2012 | Sowetan Editorial |   1 comments

EACH time a politician, celebrity or a respected member of the community comes out and says: "I too have been raped", she adds another face to our shocking rape statistics.

She says "it can happen to you too" - or your daughter, sister, aunt, girlfriend, wife, grandmother.

She tells of the reality of being a child, a girl or a woman in this country, known as the rape capital of the world.

She speaks of the horror that large numbers of women go through.

She says it doesn't only happen to prostitutes. The police watchdog body, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, in August investigated a policeman for allegedly raping a prostitute.

She says it is not only 68-year-old widows in insignificant villages who are attacked and degraded. The grandmother was raped in her home.

She says it is not only 9-year-olds who are raped, handcuffed, stabbed and then hacked with an axe. Banele Khumalo died horribly on August 26 2010.

She says it is not only 8- to 12-year-olds who are violated by their dance teacher. Seven girls were raped by their dance teacher.

She says it is not only karate students who are victims of sexual violence. A karate teacher has pleaded guilty to 10 counts of sexual assault.

She says it is not gullible women looking for jobs who are the only victims of rape. The Facebook rapist is serving 50 years for rape, murder and robbery, but his surviving victims will live with the trauma for the rest of their lives.

She says it is not only pupils who travel distances to school who are abducted on their way and then raped. A trusted teacher has raped his pupil.

Getting sick already?

These are many faceless victims of rape in this country.

It does not matter where you live, what you do and what your social status - it can happen to you too.

It is brave women like North West Premier Thandi Modise who are not afraid to speak out that they too have been raped, who show us that any woman can be a victim of rape - and that any man in this country is a potential rapist.

It is strong women such as Bridget Masinga - who opened up in a leading women's magazine about being sexually abused as a child - who say it is the people we trust the most who let us down.

During these 16 Days of Activism of No Violence Against Women and Children more women and girls will be raped. It is the reality of the country we live in. Sick, isn't it?

It could be you - or your daughter, sister, aunt, girlfriend, wife, grandmother.

Your Subscription

The SowetanLIVE Network