Lulu Xingwana, South Africa’s Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities
This quotation comes as response to the gang rape of a 17 year old girl, who is believed to be mentally ill, from Johannesburg. Over a month ago she went missing from her family and it is thought that she was kidnapped as a sex slave to several young men. Only a week ago, a video eight boys filmed of her gang-rape went wildly viral across cell phone sharing across South Africa.
Whilst South Africa has battled with climbing rape statistics, it is a fact that one in four men in South Africa has admitted to committing rape at least once in their lives. With 56,000 rapes having been reported in 2011, estimates suggest as many as 500,000 people were victims of rape in South Africa last year. Nonetheless, the country has been outraged by this particular case and many hope it will bring greater awareness to the frequent atrocities of rape committed in this society. At Dramatic Need, we are certainly aware of the impact rape culture has had on the young women and children with whom we work in the Free State. Though grave, though painful, it is worth bringing an awareness to the situation through ongoing dialogue.