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What Every South African Should Know About Rape: a New Blook for BOOK SA

Joanne HichensBen WilliamsMmatshilo MotseiMargie Orford

A few years ago, I came across Chris Hedge’s extraordinary book, What Every Person Should Know About War, published during the second US invasion of Iraq, which is written in a way that transmits the experience of being a soldier viscerally, using a very simple Q&A format.

It’s fair to say the book changed my life, deeply affecting the way I feel about war, allowing me to inhabit war from the point of view of an ordinary person caught up in it, threatened by it, forced to face it on a daily basis.

The book also spurred my creative imagination, and I began to think about the other uses to which Hedges’ ingenious formula could be put. The Q&A structure is ideal for blogging, and the sympathetic style – using the first person for questions, and the second person for answers – lends itself to emotional impact beyond that generated by the stark facts.

Sexual violence in South Africa amounts, in my opinion, to a war on women. Rape is an unconscionable crime, one that needs to be confronted on as many levels as possible. And so this blog, About Rape, is born: a “blook” that will, we hope, contribute to awareness-raising in the fight against rape, and that will be published as a softcover and e-book with the title, What Every South African Should Know About Rape, to coincide with this December’s Sixteen Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.

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