One in three men say they have raped a woman

2010-11-28 14:24

More than a third of men interviewed in Gauteng have admitted to raping a woman, who was either a stranger or an acquaintance, according to a new survey.

Among the men who had raped, nearly half had done so more than once.

The recent Gender Links gender-based violence ­indicators survey was conducted between April and July this year, and released this week as part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence campaign.

At least 478 men and 511 women were interviewed for the survey in the most densely populated province in the country.

The executive director of Gender Links, Colleen ­Lowe-Morna, said yesterday that it was likely that the results of similar studies to be conducted in other ­provinces would be the same.

Overall, 25.2% of women interviewed said they had been raped by a man – a husband, a boyfriend, a family member, a stranger or an acquaintance.

The findings of the survey also included both men and women’s attitudes to gender-based violence.

The men openly answered the more than 300 ­questions. From this, Lowe-Morna said, one could ­conclude that a lot of men did not see violence against women as problematic.

“From the attitude survey, one sees that the men believe that they have a right to punish their wives and that they feel strangely supported by their communities,” she said.

The men’s answers also confirmed what women were saying, even more than what women themselves ­reflected, she said.

According to the survey, the men and women clearly perceived that norms around gender relations at home were strictly patriarchal.

Ironically, 79.7% of women and 81.9% of men agreed that their community thought that men and women should be treated as equals.

At the same time, 80.2% of women and 94.6% of men said their community thought a wife should obey her husband.

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