South Africa has one of the highest sexual violence rates in the world, it has even been said to be comparable to the sexual violence rates of countries in conflict. According to the Rape Crisis Centre, of the one in nine cases that will be reported to the police, only 4% will end up in prosecution.
Rape culture is often the belief that women are asking to be raped if they wear revealing clothes, walk alone at night or are intoxicated in public. It is ingrained in the questions which tend to follow a rape: “What was she wearing? Was she drunk?” The blame is shifted from the perpetrator to the victim.
It is important to understand that rape culture, as perpetrated by men, is not something that materialises out of the blue in adulthood. However, much publicity and attention is given to teaching women to protect themselves against rape instead of teaching men not to become perpetrators of it.
Nearly every article and talk regarding women’s safety gives similar advice: don’t walk alone, don’t walk at night, dress modestly, know that being drunk, particularly in public, is asking to be raped.
We must ask difficult questions about the underlying drivers of violence if we are to eliminate the gratuitous acts of violence in society.
This Women’s Day on the 9th of August the Apartheid Museum will hold a male led discussion which seeks to answer questions like:
- What will men do to eliminate rape culture?
- Why do men rape?
- How do we eliminate toxic masculinities that fuel rape culture?
- What interventions can help reduce the wider social, historic and political drivers behind rape culture?
The discussion will be moderated by Eusebius McKaiser and we have Hlomla Dandala, Oliver Dickson, Farid Esack and Buhle Zuma as panelists.
Rape is a horrifying, tremendously damaging act of violence, and a society that trivialises and rationalises it is one that encourages it. Rape culture is one of the downfalls of society, and we need to work towards eradicating it.
No girl or woman has a duty to stop rape. Boys and men have a duty to stop hating, raping and murdering women
This debate will be followed by a performance by Tu Nokwe in honour of Feroza Adam (a stalwart of the struggle who died on this day.
For more details, please contact Angelique on 076 892 8928 or email firstname.lastname@example.org