Gender violence

A correct police response to domestic violence could save lives

Every eight hours in South Africa, a woman is murdered by her intimate partner. Three a day. At least. The Preamble of the Domestic Violence Act (DVA) states that victims of domestic violence are among the most vulnerable members of society. The DVA describes a variety of behaviours that can be classified as domestic violence…

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Never tired enough to stop

I am tired of rape in South Africa. I am tired of thinking about it, reading about it, hearing about it. I am tired of the fact that last year more than 60 000 women (enough to fill the Greenpoint Stadium) reported a rape to the police, and hundreds of thousands more women were raped but…

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Should we forgive Chris Brown?

On social media this week there has been some outrage at Chris Brown holding a concert in South Africa. In particular the outrage is that this event is taking place during the 16 Days of Activism to end violence against women[i], and that Chris Brown is a confessed perpetrator of domestic violence against pop artist,…

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Banking on sexism

Earlier this year I told Standard Bank that they could stick their dishwasher where the sun doesn’t shine. The reason? It replicated 1950s sexism assuming that men in the family are breadwinners, sit around watching TV all day, and that the women in the family do all the cleaning. Accordingly men were given the opportunity…

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How many sexual offence cases go to trial?

The annual crime stats present us with figures of how many people reported their crimes in the previous year. These can be incredibly hard to comprehend. It’s hard for me to imagine what 100 people look like, never mind thousands of people. So trying to imagine the 64 514 people who reported a sexual offence between…

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Crime: Are you to blame?

Safety is a difficult thing to contemplate in a country where nowhere is really “safe”. It is hard to pretend that we don’t know. We can’t ignore the high crime statistics, and police commissioner requirements of stomach in chest out. It’s almost impossible to meet anyone who doesn’t know anyone who has been victim of…

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Durex cocks it up on the eve of 16 Days

I received a forwarded horrific tweet moments ago. The tweet in question came from Durex SA, and went as follows: @DurexSA: Why did God give men penises? So they’d have at least one way to shut a woman up. #DurexJoke When I pointed out to them that this endorsed violence against women, their response was:…

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Metro police would rather police women’s sexuality than men’s violence

According to their Facebook Page “V-Girls is a global movement of girl activists inspired by I Am an Emotional Creature” — Eve Ensler’s latest collection of monologues for and about girls. The aim of the book, and of the movement is to inspire girls to take agency over their lives, and to encourage them to…

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What do parents of rape victims think of crime stats?

Last year a close friend and neighbour who lived two houses away was murdered. As he lay bleeding to death on the floor of his bedroom after being hit on the back of his neck by a laptop — so hard that the laptop bent — I am sure my friend would have been pleased…

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‘I’m too sexy to rape’

You may have read that DA MP Masizole Mnqasela was acquitted on rape charges in Cape Town a few weeks ago, and claimed that he was “too sexy to be a rapist”. You may also have read that Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba thought that the Slutwalk was an opportunity for him to “get lucky”….

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