Tag Archives: rape

The horror of how our children die, I see it every day

Last week we heard of a teenager who went missing while running with her dog and family in Cape Town and was found murdered a few hours later. It’s a terrible story, the stuff of every parent’s absolute worst nightmare. We have all briefly lost sight of our children in a supermarket, at the park,…

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Men will never stop hurting us

As a child, I thought that grownups weren’t afraid of anything. They killed spiders. They didn’t believe in monsters and ghosts. They weren’t scared of dogs or the dark or the deep end of the swimming pool. Of all the disappointing discoveries of adulthood, the realisation that grownups are in fact very frightened very often…

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Virginity bursaries: Weighing the pros and cons

By Nandisa Tushini The recent outrage over the bursary scheme that seeks to fund those who can prove their virginity – the “maiden bursary” – is controversial but not without its merits. Despite some support from young women, many organisations such as People Opposing Women Abuse, Lawyers for Human Rights, feminist groups and even the…

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Yes means yes, lessons from affirmed consent

Freshmen (first-year university students) across the US are in the middle of what is known as “the red zone” — a period of time in which an especially high number of incidences of sexual violence are reported on college campuses. It is during this period that US universities typically engage in numerous awareness campaigns that…

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Talk dirty to me, talk about consent

“Please can I take this off you …?” Things get hot and heavy and you whisper this in a manner so low it is barely audible. The night just gets better from there. That was an instant of asking for consent. There are so many ways of asking for consent. I have friends who go…

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Listening in: An Open Book Festival review

I arrive at Fugard Annex 1 cradling a tumbler of red wine and find an empty seat on the second last row at the back. On stage is the host, Ferial Haffajee (editor of City Press), with her guest Maria Phalime, to talk about her memoir: Postmortem, The Doctor Who Walked Away. The room is…

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Please stop telling me how not to get raped

On Tuesday, the South African Police Service sent a series of tweets detailing safety tips to avoid rape. In an extraordinarily ill-considered turn of phrase, they tweeted that SAPS Northwest “are concerned about escalating contact crimes due to victims who roam the streets late at night”. Just let that sink in for a minute. “Due…

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When the system betrays our children

This was supposed to be a weary and fairly snide thinkpiece lamenting the ridiculousness of having a Women’s Day, a Women’s Month, that is completely associated with pink and flowers and whatever other qualities are deemed appropriately womanly. (Apparently, this includes wearing a doek.) Instead, I was reminded once again that I live in a…

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Like every other day of my life, this morning I woke up female

Once I was a girl, then I was somewhere in between, and now I am an adult woman. What that means for me is not the same as it is for other women. We can know our similarities and differences, but we cannot know any other life as intimately and honestly as we know our…

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Don’t become just another statistic on September 5

Numbers never tell the whole story. They rarely reveal the nuance of cause and effect and are vulnerable to massaging by vested interests. Sometimes, however, they are as startling and eye popping as a punch to the nose. Take the astounding violence of this society. South African Police Service (SAPS) statistics show that between April…

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