Rape at an all time high

2015-07-22 06:01

“RAPE is another form of oppression that the country needs to fight against.”

This comes from Sinikiwe Biyela, director of Lifeline and Rape Crisis Pietermaritzburg in response to the recent disturbing reports of rape in the city.

The first was the report of a 15-year-old boy who was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment for raping a three-year-old, which the toddler’s mother saw through the keyhole because she could not gain access into the room.

The second was the rape of a 17-year-old girl at the Emgodini taxi rank in the city centre, allegedly because she was wearing a short skirt.

Four men attacked her in the toilet at the taxi rank and raped her, leaving her lying in pain and crying on the toilet floor.

Speaking to Maritzburg Fever, Biyela said that rape is at an all time high in the country.

“There is no positive change in rape stats in areas where we are currently working. Last year alone [March 2014 to February 2015], Lifeline received 3 476 new rape cases, and the majority of those were females, compared to 2 050 new rape cases in the previous year,” she said.

Biyela said that the justification given by the rapists in the second incident in Pietermaritzburg were unacceptable.

“Individuals are taking away the Constitutional rights of women and children of this country. The length of her dress is just used as an excuse for their unacceptable behaviour and to justify their actions. Sadly, these men have used their private parts as weapons to punish, control, destroy and emotionally kill women and children,” said Biyela.

She said there are thousands of babies who are raped wearing nappies and grandmothers who are raped wearing pants and long dresses.

“The public need to understand that rape is a planned violation of human rights - it’s about power and control and that has nothing to do with how or what women wear.

“Perpetrators of rape will use any excuse to rape a woman and to ease their conscience they blame a woman for their cruelty and unacceptable behaviour.”

Biyela said that there is major concern around the age of the perpetrators as some of them are under the age of 18.

“The cause for this is deeply rooted in communities and families. There is no child born knowing how to abuse and rape children. This kind of behaviour is learnt from homes and communities. I believe that parents need to invest more time in talking to their children and be the first source of information, and monitor the information given to children from others, specifically TV.”

She said that nobody is immune to rape and it will leave deep and lasting emotional scars if survivors are not guided through the healing process.

For support, contact Lifeline at 033 342 4447 or visit www.lifeonline.co.za

The cause for this [rape] is deeply rooted in communities and families. There is no child born knowing how to abuse and rape children

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