Sunday, October 25, 2020
Health And Welfare

Botswana rape survivor fights sexual violence with awareness campaign

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According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), nearly 70% of women in Botswana have experienced physical or sexual abuse – more than double the global average.

Activists, however, believe the real figure could be even higher as stigma and fear of going to the police, stops many women from reporting rape.

“There is a lot of interrogation that happens to establish details of the rape and this can be a demeaning for victims as rape is such an intimate crime,” said Peggy Ramaphane, Head of local women’s right charity Women Against Rape (WAR).

Refilwe Mooki, Singer and Activist from Botswana was raped three years ago. Soon after that, her younger sister was also raped. The two incidents spurred her to launch a campaign to fight the high rates of sexual violence in the country.

Mooki said the “Say No to Rape” campaign would push for harsher sentences for rapists as well as measures to support victims and encourage them to speak out. “Enough is enough. We need to challenge people feeling entitled to other’s bodies and violating them because they feel that they can get away with anything they want,” she added.

She plans to work with fellow musicians on a song with an anti-rape message to highlight the campaign and she will be visiting schools to encourage students to report sexual violence.

Mooki still suffers from post-traumatic stress as a result of her attack, she hopes to raise funds for survivors in need of professional counselling through music concerts.

The United Nations warned against domestic violence during global lockdowns, following the tripling of helpline calls in some countries, as lockdowns made it impossible for many women to flee abusers.

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