Interpol has named South Africa
The Rape Capital of the World
Mara Glennie (Founder of TEARS) says:
“My motivation comes from a deeply personal space. I myself was a survivor of violence and tried to report it at the Randburg Police Station. I was told to come back on a Monday between 8.00 and 16.00. It was 18.00, Friday! I felt helpless and desperate and did not know where to turn. The memory of that feeling has never left me. "
See my Story
Not knowing where to find help, coupled with a lack of accessible information, results in victims not getting the attention they need.
Our aim is for TEARS to be the help that these victims need.
Organisations at the forefront of service provision for rape survivors report that 75 – 80% of survivors do NOT report their crimes because of a lack of faith in the criminal justice system (1 in 9 Campaign). There is an ongoing lack of state funding for the operational costs of government agencies that provide services to rape victims (Alipo, 2010). This includes a lack of funds for training programmes for police, health services and employees of the National Prosecuting Authority.
The result is insufficient awareness of protocols concerning the protection of victims of sexual offences by police and the criminal justice system, despite the fact that this protection is mandated by the law.
Economic deprivation and hopelessness at the lack of prospects for many in our country result in a society that acts out in violence against those more vulnerable to gain some sense of power and control, and rape and sexual abuse is rampant.
A society dealing with an overload of crime related trauma results in a “blinkered” mentality which means that issues around rape and sexual abuse often do not get the attention and resultant aid they require.
People simply do not want to hear about it.
TEARS aims to address this lack of information by providing instant referrals to the nearest assistance facilities, and to promote a change in societal attitudes through educational and awareness programmes.
Each of the women involved in this initiative or someone close to them, has had their own experience, and understands how it feels to be powerless and hopeless. Rape/Sexual Assault survivors need understanding and counselling in order to recover. They also need to be able to report such acts of violence and heal from them in an environment that is non-threatening. While it is unrealistic to believe we can eradicate this type of violence completely, by increasing awareness we hope to significantly reduce it.
At the very least, we will provide the resources to ensure that future sons and daughters of South Africa will never have to feel the same desperate sense of isolation and abandonment along with the inescapable physical, psychological and emotional ravages of such trauma.
Although women are the most affected, rape is neither gender nor age specific. Every day, men women and children fall victim to this de-humanising form of violence.
• THE SHOCKING STATISTICS
• Interpol has named South Africa the “Rape Capital of the World”. (Interpol)
• In South Africa, someone is raped or sexually abused every 17 seconds. (Interpol)
• It is estimated that a woman born in South Africa has a greater chance of being raped than learning to read. (Interpol)
• 2 out of 5 South African male learners say that they have been raped, according to a survey carried out in 1 200 schools across the country. (Published in BioMed Central's International Journal for Equity in Health)
• 3 is the number of children raped every minute
• 13 800 is the number of child rape victims per year
• 45% of rapes reported to police in South Africa are child rapes
• 50% of South Africa’s children will be abused before the age of 18.1
• 85% of them will be by perpetrators known to them. (MATLA A BANA – A voice against child abuse)
• The greatest increase in sexual violence has been against infants and children under the age of seven. (www.rape.co.za(Rape Statistics – South Africa and Worldwide)
• 64 514 was the number of rapes reported to police in South Africa last year. (www.saps.gov.za/.../reports/crimestats)
• 1 out of 25 cases are actually reported to the police! (www.rape.co.za)
• South Africa has some of the highest incidences of child and baby rape in the world. 1 in 3 of the 4 000 women questioned by the Community of Information, Empowerment and Transparency said that they had been raped in the past year.
• In a related survey conducted among 1 500 schoolchildren in the Soweto Township, a quarter of all the boys interviewed said that 'jackrolling', a term for gang rape, was fun. (Reuters South Africa’s child-rape epidemic By Finbarr O’Reilly)
• Out of the 24 892 rapes reported to police last year, only 1 797 resulted in successful convictions. (www.southafricaproject.co.za)
• Between 28 and 30% of adolescents reported that their first sexual encounter was forced. (www.rape.co.za (Rape Statistics – South Africa and Worldwide))