Related Facts

-> South Africa is home to the world’s largest population of people living with HIV (5.7 million).

-> The total number of new HIV infections for 2009 is estimated at 413,000. Of these, an estimated 59,000 will be among children.

-> For  2009,  an  estimated  10.6%  of  the  total  population  is  HIV  positive. There were 354,000 new infections in mid-2009, plus 59,000 children.

understanding rape

"I prefer to characterize rape simply as a form of torture. Like the torturer, the rapist is motivated by the urge to dominate, humiliate, and destroy his victim. Like a torturer, he does so by using the most intimate acts available to humans -- sexual ones."
Helen Benedict, Virgin or Vamp, 1992


R.A.P.E. – Revolution Against Personal Empowerment

Rape is a mutiny against personal freedom. Sexual violence is about dominance, silencing, and the destruction of the feminine, both within the rapist and the victim. Rape is a weapon of war, a form of disembodiment of the individuals from their humanity; of the society from its possibility. Violence is a form of disease, an infectious ailment that is transmitted through generations.


Even though many victims experience similar reactions, there are individual differences in how people respond to the trauma of rape.

Shock & disbelief – feeling numb and withdrawn from others

Recurring thoughts – flashbacks and nightmares; preoccupation with memories of the experience

Intense emotions - experiencing anger, fear, anxiety or depression

Physical Symptoms – sleep disturbances, headaches, stomachaches, difficulty with concentration, loss of interest in sex and intimacy

Fears About Safety – fears about personal safety

Self-Blame and Shame - feeling dirty, devalued, humiliated and responsible for the act of violence

How about this patriarchal society?

You might wonder where to start in a country that is presumable male dominated. How do you start to empower women?

You might not know that there is also another side to the story:

South Africa is ranked eighth in the world in the number of women it has in the government. The deputy president is a woman and so are nine out of twenty seven cabinet members.

According to a survey, the country has the third-highest proportion of companies in which women are senior managers.

The Parliamentary Joint commitee has passed several pieces of legislation on customary or traditional law, domestic violence, and child maintenance. Of course there is still a VERY long way to go. But these are some encouraging facts to build on!

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I survived this torture

which left me paralyzed for years. That's what that night was all about, mutilation, more than violence through sex.

I really do feel as though I was psychologically mutilated that night and now I'm trying to put the pieces back together again. Through love, not hatred. And through my music. My strength has been to open again, to life, and my victory is the fact that, despite it all, I kept alive my vulnerability.

Tori Amos

sample videos

How Rape is Fueling the AIDS Crisis in South Africa

How Rape is Fueling the AIDS Crisis in South Africa

Meet two journalists who were covering the AIDS crisis in their homeland of South Africa, when they were both raped and left to wonder if their own futures might now include a painful death, from the very Pandemic they were sent to cover.


See other videos related to South Africa that we favorited for you at our YouTube channel.