Rape victims given the run-around by SA justice system

In this image, Nomsa Dladla and Dudu Muvhali had joined a protest to highlight how the justice system is failing rape victims. The writer of this column states that in this country, rapists are given the benefit of the doubt and the victim has to prove that she was violated.
In this image, Nomsa Dladla and Dudu Muvhali had joined a protest to highlight how the justice system is failing rape victims. The writer of this column states that in this country, rapists are given the benefit of the doubt and the victim has to prove that she was violated.
Image: Elizabeth Sejake \ FILE IMAGE

Reporting a rape case in SA is like a tour around a maze, which you'd be lucky to find your way out successfully.

This is my view as I had a traumatic experience with the South African justice system.

Women all over the country are being raped and killed and not much can be done. Campaigns are being launched left, right and centre but that's not enough to stop these violent acts.

Rape is a scar that nothing can take away, not a movement and definitely not the support groups that are in place to walk the mile with the survivor.

Not much can be done until the justice system takes drastic measures against rapists and killers.

We are far from reading about missing, raped and murdered women if we still sugar-coat this barbaric behaviour.

I honestly fail to understand this concept of "insufficient evidence" that let's the perpetrator walk a free man. What are we as a society to do with this "innocent until proven guilty" man roaming our streets?

Do we just welcome him back with open arms or do we pray in silence that our children and women are safe?

I honestly miss the days when a rapist was given a good beating by the whole community before they called the police to arrest him.

I'm not one for violence but where I come from the community would be out with stones and they did a better job.

Unfortunately, in my case things were different. My perpetrator was not dealt with in that manner. Three of my witnesses did not make it to court on the day of trial, which resulted in my case being thrown out of court.

It's very easy for people to cast stones at an unknown perpetrator but if the perpetrator is a known person then they chose to turn a blind eye because it's "too close to home".

Having my case thrown out of court and me picking up the pieces that the rape and the case had inflicted on my life, I still feel I did not get the justice I deserved.

How many other women are out there going on with their lives because they couldn't prove that they were raped in a case of "she said, and he said".

Why are we so surprised that even in this "New Dawn" women are still skeptical about reporting rape cases?

Rapists are being given the benefit of the doubt and the victim has to prove that she was violated.

Typical justice in SA.

As a survivor, I plead with the justice system to do its work thoroughly. Let us tell our ordeals in the stand instead of writing off or shelving of cases because "there was not enough evidence".

*This is a personal account of the writer highlighting the difficulties victims of sexual violence face

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