Al Jazeera’s The Stream: Rape in South Africa
Al Jazeera discusses a video that went viral of a mentally ill teenager being gang raped. People on Twitter used the hashtag #rapevideo to request a copy of the video.
Rape is, unfortunately, a huge problem in the country. Every 26 seconds, a woman in South Africa is raped. 40% of women’s first sexual experiences are forcible and a woman is more likely to be raped than learn how to read.
Some in South Africa explain:
Successive governments have pledged to cut crime, putting more police on the street and launching high profile campaigns that have done little to reduce the violence.
According to the most recent police statistics, more than 66,000 rapes and other sexual offenses were reported in South Africa in the year ending in early 2011.
But Loots said that the state “cannot solely be blamed for these crimes that are taking place [and] there are multiple and complex reasons for this.
“But, the South African Justice System is failing victims/survivors of rape despite efforts to improve services,” she said.
Massive unemployment, poverty, easy access to weapons and the lingering effects of the racial oppression of apartheid have been cited by as reasons for the persistently high levels of violent crime.
“We come from a history of violence, where people have lived and grown up using violence in order to get what they want, to settle conflicts,” Lisa Vette, a gender activist, said.