Some statistics claim that a person is sexually assaulted or raped as often as every eight minutes.Women’s month has begun, but sadly this much celebrated month is not a happy one for many women and children who suffer rape and abuse.
While many were recently involved in good deeds on Mandela Day, a mother and daughter suffered the most horrible fate of being raped. Just last year, the mother had rejoiced on Mandela Day when a room was built for her by generous sponsors. However, this year tragedy struck in the very same room.
Thandi (not her real name) and her children were asleep, when a man entered their room, took a cell ‘phone a DVD player and their dignity, raping both mother and daughter and causing the entire family much heartbreak and trauma. “The worst pain is the suffering my daughter went through, is going through and will still go through as she faces the challenges in her life.
My other children were also traumatised and although the rapist has been caught, we still feel unsafe as we don’t know if anyone would try to enter our home again. I feel helpless that I could not protect myself, my daughter or any of my other children that night,” said Thandi. Behind every statistic and the scary figures of SA’s extremely high levels of rape and sexual assault, there are people we know and love.
These anonymous numbers are our friends, our mothers, our sisters, our daughters and our wives.
During the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign, the government and the non-governmental organisations go out of their way to highlight the scourge of rape by means of programmes and advertisements on television, radio and in the newspapers, trying to convince men not to harm women and children, and trying to find ways of fighting this crisis.
According to Rape Crisis statistics, 64 514 sexual offences were reported to the police in South Africa last year, but not all rape cases are reported. Possibly only one in nine, or even one in 25, rapes are actually reported to the police. Rape can make one feel defeated.
Thandi, like many other rape victims, is determined to show rapists that their barbarism will not defeat her nor will it take away her dignity and her self-respect.
The SA National Prosecuting Authority and the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development say there is a 65, 1% conviction rate in sexual offences in the country. What about those rapists who do not get caught?
Thandi and her daughter have a long way to recovery but still face the challenge of being unprotected and unsafe in their poorly secured room.
Sponsors are sought to assist Thandi with a new door at her home. To assist contact Arnold on 073-479-0739