Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sharing article on 16 Days in South Africa

The allegations of the gang rape of a 15-year-old girl on the Jules High
School campus in Jeppestown rocked the nation.

It wasn't just that she was drugged; that the heinous, brutal attack was
recorded on a cellphone; that the recording of the vicious act was
circulated and  if we believe some early reports that some educators
laughed when they saw the video that was so devastating.

It wasn't the chilling comments from the school pupils, some of whom told
our reporters that watching the incident was like watching soccer and that
the victim looked like she was enjoying herself  that makes it so shocking.

It wasn't even the reports of police not initially arresting the boys
suspected of being involved because they needed to take their exams; nor was
it their later release, reportedly because of a lack of evidence, that makes
the incident entirely deplorable. And it wasn't the fact that the latest
reports seem to be an attempt to discredit the victim by saying she was
drunk, not drugged. No.

The saddest part of the entire case is the fact that our outrage probably
won't last another week. We've known about this problem in our schools for
years. Baby rape is rampant, corrective rape of lesbians is accepted
practice in some areas, and gang rape all too prevalent. There is a war
against women and children in our country and the weapon is rape.

The truth is we leave it to civil society to deal with. We wait for Sonke
Gender Justice to condemn leaders such as Julius Malema, who was only
backing President Jacob Zuma's account of his rape accuser when he made his she enjoyed herself comment.

Then we shake our collective heads in disbelief when those comments come out
of the mouths of babes.

We hope women like Lisa Vetten, the director of Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy
Centre, will continue to shout on our behalf, that Gender Links will keep
holding 16 Days of Activism each year in its too often unheard effort to
tell the world about violence against women. We, the media, tell the story
of the victim and unravel the horrific details.

And the next hour, day, week, we, too, move on. Until the next woman or
child or baby is attacked.

We can't leave this up to civil society any longer. We need to shift our
national mentality. We need awareness in every crevice of our nation. We
need to have the SABC broadcast public service announcements, with leaders
like Malema telling the nation that real men don't rape women and don't
even utter comments that undermine women's rights in this way.

We need every type of media to tell the stories of our daughters, our
nieces, our grandmothers, our mothers, our wives, our girlfriends, our
sisters and our aunts, so that every man, woman and child clearly
understands that rape affects us all.

Will this be the one case, because of the shock factor, that won't allow us
to avert our eyes, that will force us to admit how bad it really is We
doubt it. And that might be the saddest part of it all.



  1. This Is A REally Interesting Report Butt It Is Very Sad How they rapped the girl and laughed what if it happened to them how would they feel huh? I THink This Should Be Read By Everyone.


Violence against women is a worldwide yet still hidden problem. Freedom from the threat of harassment, battering, and sexual assault is a concept that most of us have a hard time imagining because violence is such a deep part of our cultures and lives.