But as Uyinene's story showed us, they lied. It matters not to them where we are. Our mere existence anywhere in the country marks us as prey. And almost all cases include rape.
In her book Rape: A South African Nightmare, Dr Pumla Gqola describes rape thus: "Rape is the communication of patriarchal power, reining in, enforcing submission and punishing defiance. It is an extreme act of aggression and power, always gendered and enacted against the feminine."
The book makes for a harrowing read. I read it about a year-and-a-half ago, and was left raw.
This week, in the wake of everything that has happened in the country, someone shared this quote in Twitter and it chilled me.
The truth in it both chilled and grated my insides till they were raw at the same time.
We have no way of knowing if this femicide is only getting worse now or if we know more about it because women are feeling empowered to report it. And it is this empowerment that is getting us killed, isn't it?
Men hate the faintest smell of power on a woman. They loathe it.
My opinion is that this scourge is on the rise because they see how powerful we are, and the only power they truly possess is the physical power to snuff the life out of our bodies.
Men rape and kill us to remind us who's boss. In their desperate need to hold onto patriarchy men are sending us signals so that we may never forget who decides whether we live or not - not God, but them. They want to be our god.
We have stopped bowing down to them as shrines and they wake up with the sole intention of reining us back in.