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About Rape

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Where will I be raped?

If you are raped it will more than likely happen at home, which is where more than half of all reported rapes take place. But rape can happen anywhere, of course. You can be raped inside or outside – in a residential street or open field, or in your car, a public toilet, in prison, in a classroom, in a place of worship, a park, a playground, at a neighbour’s house.

Generally, there are likely to be a higher number of rapes in areas where people feel less powerful, and are less protected. If you live in a township or an informal settlement or village where lighting and public transport is poor, if criminal gangs operate in your nearby, if there is no adequate police presence, if you do not have private security or a neighbourhood watch, you will be more vulnerable.

It is clear that feeling afraid of being attacked and raped affects many womens’ daily movements and activities. They feel threatened on public transport, going hiking, or going out alone at night. Although you should be vigilant when leaving bars or shebeens or approaching cars in parking lots late at night, unfortunately, you cannot prevent being raped by avoiding certain places. Whether you live in a wealthy suburb a poor urban community, or a rural area, you may be raped by a “friend” at a party, or by intruders in a home invasion, or by someone you know. As most rapes are planned beforehand, the rapist will want to isolate you before he commits his crime. Most rapes happen in places where you are found alone and the rapist will not be seen or stopped. You can be raped just anywhere a rapist thinks he can get away with it.

When will I be raped?

More than half of all sexual assaults are reported on weekends and are linked abuse of alcohol and drugs.

However, the reality of the situation is that rape does not respect regular time patterns. It can happen to you after a night of clubbing, or in your office as you work overtime. It can happen to your child who may be snatched from the front garden of your home during broad daylight. There is no time of day or night that incidences of reported rape and assault have not been reported.

 

Recent comments:

  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    April 22nd, 2008 @12:04 #
     
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    I'm pleased to announce that Pregs Govender has joined the About Rape Editorial Board. She's a well-known gender activist and the author of http://book.co.za/bookfinder/ean/9781770093423">Love & Courage: a story of insubordination.

    Rape has dominated the Cape news cycle over the last few days: a girl has been attacked in a school's computer room; another girl was abducted and gang-raped while jogging; and a woman arrested for possession of dagga was raped in her holding cell, by a policeman, who has since appeared in court and is out on R1000 bail.

    The "where" and "when" of rape is truly terrifying in scope.

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  • <a href="http://shereenpandit.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Shereen</a>
    Shereen
    April 22nd, 2008 @15:33 #
     
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    We've just had a "Reclaim the Night" march here, long before violence against women has reached anywhere near the stats from CT. A huge march, but still just a small gesture in the scale of things, but then things are not yet anywhere near the level of CT (just bad enough to make the Minister of Home Affairs stay off the streets she's never walked).

    Is there any chance of women (and men) organising around this issue, or is that so last century, this business of protest politics, taking them on in the streets? Really, the more we cower in our homes - especially with security alarms not working due to lack of electricity - the more the thugs get to own the city and all round it.

    I no longer live in CT, but, having scheduled a visit to the Aged Parents in CT and insisted that Daughter come along, I am suddenly afraid, reading these postings.

    I think that middle-age plus being the parent of a very nubile young woman has made me extremely conservative, and fearful.

    Which feels really odd - I who have always scoffed at the tales of woe related by the guys in sloffies and khaki shorts queueing at SA House (though, to be fair, the scoffing was mostly because they were worried about the effects of crime on their investments).

    I who grew up in a township, near a place called Die Kriefgat, which was then a human hell-hole, but felt fairly safe since the gangsters all knew us, or at least knew our family, and respected my dad because of what he did for the community.

    I who lived through the time when the old government sicked new gangs onto us to keep us home instead of going to meetings.

    I who lived through The Troubles in the Townships - Now, I am afraid.

    What am I letting this English child in for? A young woman who's used to walking the streets of London at night with her mates, travelling alone by public transport after dark (even though the Minister of HOme Affairs won't)? The most I've taught her so far is to ensure her drink is not left alone to be spiked and that she stays with her mates at all times and never takes even a registered cab on her own!

    Should I cancel her visit? Sorry, you lot are scaring me shitless.

    Shereen

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  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    April 22nd, 2008 @19:41 #
     
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    Mustn't cancel the visit on account of fear, Shereen. Seems like you have plenty of family and friends here - let love be the greater pull.

    Protest politics is alive and well in SA, meanwhile: over 10 000 civil society mass actions in the past two years! - many of them to do with violence against women. We are definitely pushing back.

    Hope your daughter makes it to the CT Book Fair!

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