Mara Glennie, the Founder of TEARS, a national, multi-award winning NPO that assists women and children who have been raped, sexually assaulted and abused, expresses her deepest despair at GBV violence inaction in South Africa in this open letter.
A brutal war against women and children is underway in South Africa
It’s time to unmute
Women face war on our streets, in the workplace, at home, at school, and even at the Post Office
It’s time to unmute
Let’s take responsibility and protect the women and children of our country
If you or someone you know has been raped or abused dial *134* 7355#.
A Sunday Newspaper recently published:
“No woman is safe in South Africa, we live our lives in fear. The hidden financial cost of Gender-Based Violence to South Africa runs into the billions. The effect it has on lives and communities is even more far-reaching. It is estimated that gender-based violence (GBV) cost South Africa R36-billion in 2019. According to a recent report titled “The Costly Impact of Gender-Based Violence: Private Sector Perceptions and Realities in South Africa” released in August 2022. In the first three months of 2022, there were at least 10,818 rapes reported in South Africa, an increase of 13.7% over the same period last year.”
The spiralling status of women in South Africa, serves as a continuous stream of blows to their dignity, says Mara.
“South African police stations are failing to effectively help victims of gender-based violence (GBV) and rape and to apprehend suspects because a high number of victims often withdraw the cases. There is not enough expertise in using rape kits and the process of analysing DNA is 2 years in arrears, meaning that rapist walk our streets freely, whilst their victims live in fear!” – says Mara
Is justice a reality for GBV survivors in South Africa?
We continue to lose mothers, sisters and friends! We have marched! We have heard the governments empty promises!
We have begged! We have cried! We have pleaded!!!
South Africa has the highest rape stats in the world
- 0.3% of women in South Africa report gender-based violence to the police.
- Four women are killed by their partners in South Africa every day.
- The second most common cause of these deaths occurs when women decide to end their relationships.
- Sexual offences against women increased from 31 665 in 2015/16 to 70 813 in 2016/17.
- Domestic violence has the most repeat victims of any other crime in that a victim suffers 35 assaults on average before reporting it to the police the first time.
- South Africa’s female homicide rate is six times above the global average.
- South Africa has the highest level of adult per capita alcohol consumption in Africa. Alcohol abuse contributes to increased levels of both Gender-Based Violence and HIV.
- 1 in 3 women, 1 in 3 girls, 1 in 5 boys will be raped in their lifetime.
- A child is raped in South Africa every 3 minutes.
- Most of them are young girls between 3 & 12 years old.
- 93% cases the perpetrators are known to the victim (7% stranger, 59% Acquaintance’s, 34% family members).
- Only 1 in 4 rapes are reported.
- Tears has received over 107 000 (2020/2021) calls this last year.
- Total 23 226 teenagers’ pregnancies have been reported in Gauteng only in the period April 2020 – March 2021.
- About 3500 babies are abandoned unsafely in South Africa each year.
- Police Minister Bheki Cele recently announced that more than 9 500 cases of GBV and 13 000 cases of domestic violence were reported just between July and September 2021.
- Police minister General Bheki Cele stated that 9 556 people were raped between July and September 2021. This is an increase of 634 cases, amounting to a 7.1% increase over the previous reporting period. A sample of 6 144 rape cases revealed that 3 951 of the rape incidents took place at the home of the victim or rapist. – Health-e News.
- It is estimated that over 40% of South African women will be raped in their lifetime and that only 1 in 9 rapes are reported. It is also estimated that 14% of perpetrators of rape are convicted in South Africa.
- While attrition rates differ at the different stages, most studies show that the highest attrition occurs at the police investigation phase, and most reported cases (81.5% of cases from the RAPSSA Report) never make it to trial.
“It is a sad fact that many facilities that assist rape victims and shutting due to lack of funding. After lock down our data base has been decreased by 1000, that means there are less facilities that rape and abuse victims can go to. Please do not allow the facilities that assist survivors shut due to lack of funding. HELP US TO HELP SURVIVORS PLEASE” – says Mara
Connect With Tears
If you or someone you know, are you a survivor of GBV, Sexual assault or abuse? TEARS Foundation is open and here for you, 24/7, 365 days of the year. The organisation provides access to free counselling, emergency crisis intervention and support.
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