Gender violence


I feel the need to repost this statement here. I hope that all of the survivors of rape who read it feel supported. 8 April 2011 Rape Crisis Statement on the #itsnotrapeif Twitter phenomenon We heard via the online grapevine about a revolting Twitter hashtag  topic — #itsnotrapeif — and due to some masochistic compulsion…

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‘Lesbians don’t take the train’

You cannot rape a woman to make her straight but some men are trying their damndest. In fact, some men in South Africa are trying their damndest to rape women, children and other men (particularly young boys and those in prison). The trains in Cape Town, although irregular, are the cheapest form of transport. Normally…

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The real state of the nation 2011

Last week President Zuma gave his 2011 State of the Nation address to much applause and sometimes laughter as well. If I had been playing a drinking game, these would have been the rules: When the President mentions specific deliverables have one shot. When the President mentions the rights of victims of crime have one…

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Nothing to correct

When children are born, parents and those around them begin the work of “correcting” them. They correct their poor eyesight with glasses, their spelling and grammar with extra lessons, and perhaps their posture with etiquette classes. There is a common feeling in today’s world that everything is possible, and there is no reason not to…

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Is women murdering their partners an unreasonable response?

In the past few years the law has been evolving to give consideration and lighter sentences to women who murder their abusive partners. You could argue that these women did what any reasonable woman would do in the same circumstances. Let me be clear before the deliberate misreaders of my pieces accuse me of inciting…

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School sexual bullying: Where do we begin?

Education is one of the key Millennium Development Goals and it is critical to the development of South Africa’s democracy. The recent Jules rape case has brought the idea that our children aren’t safe in their schools to everyone’s attention. This case is particularly complex and horrifying because of the reported reactions of other learners…

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Femicidal South Africa

The maximum sentence for femicide is only half the maximum sentence for fraud, yet 1 400 women die every year because they are murdered by their intimate partners. Powa brought this to our attention earlier this year with their video showing how people would respond to loud drums late at night, but they would not respond…

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Rape culture — bad for you, bad for me, bad for everyone

I would argue that most South Africans have endured rape culture which allows violence to persist with little resistance. It’s undeniable that things aren’t right in South Africa when it comes to sexual violence. Last year’s crime stats show 68 332 reported “sexual offences” and this doesn’t account for the many offences which aren’t reported. There…

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16 days of activism: Are we there yet?

Every year Women’s Day, Women’s Month and the 16 Days of Activism roll around and we hear some really great speeches from those in power. Every year, as these events tick by we see NGOs around the country rallying their troops to march, educate, inform and assist. Why? What are these days even about? Do…

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Statutory rape screws the Jules case over

Hearing that the girl who was allegedly drugged, then gang raped, while being filmed by her peers had now been charged with statutory rape alongside her alleged rapists, I almost gave up hope. But then I realised that the sheer scale of this injustice is important because it will hopefully rally us to demand justice….

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