Shukumisa and Young Urban Women team up to create a rape survival guide


Like a mat being ripped out from under her feet, rape can steal a woman’s sense of hope and self-respect. It can stir up wrath, intense sorrow and loneliness. This is unfortunately a harsh reality that numerous South African women are faced with. 

Battling to find their way to a helping hand that will take them to a better place, makes them feel lost and powerless. Should they reach out for assistance, they more often than not get pushed further down a dark tunnel instead of being brought into the light.

15 brave and confident young women from Cape Town and Johannesburg, have stepped in to salvage this calamitous situation. They compiled a booklet, #Listen. Change begins with you. Improving after-rape care services., as an aid to women of all ages.

Read more: Life Orientation textbook: Teaching girls that rape is their fault

Getting to know the booklet

The concept for the booklet came about when they discovered extensive research on Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCCs). When research began in 2015, it was unveiled that several women did not understand what TCCs were about, or know where they were based. The booklet streamlines the research and makes it more easily available. 

The currently obtainable treatments are not sufficient to cater to the degree of severity of rape.

By clarifying the therapy services provided by NGOs at TCCs, the booklet gives insight and guidance to those looking to heal from rape. It tells the stories of rape survivors who highlight the pressing need for enhanced post-rape treatment in the country. 

The currently obtainable treatments are not sufficient to cater to the degree of severity of rape. Given this, the booklet makes suggestions to the government, donors and NGOs, for progression of the rape-care facilities at TCCs. 

Published by Shukumisa, the booklet is a component of the Young Urban Women (YUW) programme executed by ActionAid South Africa (AASA) and its partners. It is handed out by young women in various suburbs where it is most needed, including Khayelitsha, Langa and Gugulethu.

Communities react to the booklet

Aniela Batschari, a co-ordinator at Shukumisa, spoke to some of these generous women about the response that the booklet has received. Unsurprisingly, the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive.

Nonkuleleko Nzilana handed out copies of the booklet to the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation at Philippi Village. She said that the Community Advisory Board was thrilled to have received the booklet, as they believe it will be a great help, given that they work in a region where rape is rife.

They have been given faith that revival is possible, and are using the book to find out more about rape-care services.

In Orange Farm, Nomvula Sibanyoni circulated copies of the booklet, and pointed out that the booklet was well received by the media. The local newspapers and their community radio station, Thetha FM, welcomed them for interviews and contributed to creating awareness about it.

She also mentioned that the booklet inspired the area’s young women to educate themselves on rape, resulting in them attending group meetings. They have been given faith that revival is possible, and are using the book to find out more about rape-care services. 

Want to know more?

You can contact YUW, Shukumisa and/or AASA for more information. See the details below:


Aniela Batschari, Coordinator
Tel: 021 447 1467


Malibuswe Miya, Women’s Rights Programme
Tel: 011 731 4570


Nomvula Sibanyoni (Orange Farm)
Cell: 078 988 6002

Simthandile Mputa (Gugulethu)
Cell: 079 957 9843

Learn more about rape culture:

Rebounding after rape: will 'freed' Chibok girls face double victimisation?

Man receives 2 years house arrest for sexually assaulting daughter- is that justice?

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