Step up and Step in: how can we fight rape in SA?

Hi Bloggers and Friends,I must say I have really had it with all the excuses going on in the country as if abuse of children, women and even men is just a thing of culture. It is not and I am just not going to put up with it anymore.
Today I sat with our churches Youth guys and we are now choreographing a hip hop musical drama including a short talk by a hunky good looking African guy (head boy nogal) about why rape is just wrong. Keep reading this post to get a glimpse at our first attempts on putting the Hip Hop message together!
I have also arranged for trauma counsellor Barbara Louw to come and teach all our cell leaders and volunteers about how to respond to  trauma and how to start the healing process.
IMG_1475 - CopyFurthermore I am pursuing a high impact Self Defense course to run for the whole community, partially sponsored by the church.
I know the big cities have more resources and access to talented volunteers but probably also a higher bureaucracy and protocol threshold.
I do not want to wait till a super polished show comes to our rural areas, so I am going to put together something right now.
And how urgent is the call for equipped trauma counselors in a nation where every third girl under 18 has been subjected to rape or abuse.
Smart talks, brochures or even handing out condoms at schools do nothing to stop the out of control spiral of sexual violence amongst the youth of our country.
I had the great privileged talking and brainstorming with Jaco and Philippa Booyens from www.afteredenpictures.com  who are
currently busy producing the 8 Days movie raising awareness about sex trafficking.
Africa’s medium is music and dancing, and we need to use those tools to expose the “rape apes” for what they are, and to bring civilian courage back so the “good kids” do not look the other way but get involved helping and taking a stand against abuse.
IMG_0112
Talking to youth to please NOT look the other way when they suspect abuse is happening.

Really, it is partially the good neighbours who allow this by looking away.

 

Between 77% and 83% of rapes are committed by someone that is a trusted friend or family member.

South Africa was currently rated by Interpol as the world’s no. 1 rape capital, a woman raped every 17 seconds. That is bad enough but according to the Medical Research Council, more than one in four minors experience physical violence at home daily or weekly and more than one third of girls have experienced sexual violence before the age of 18. Its study also states that 40% of all victims who reported rape to the police were under 18 and 15% were under 12 years old.

Another issue with sexual violence against minors in South Africa is the sexual abuse and harassment that is reported to occur in schools by teachers and other students.

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Rural Limpopo children are currently the most vulnerable population group in our nation.

According to the Human Rights Watch, girls from all levels of society and ethnic groups have been subjected to sexual violence at school in bathrooms, empty classrooms, dormitories, and more.

Police, prosecutors, and social workers have also complained that many incidents of sexual violence in schools are not reported to them because schools often prefer to deal with it internally, thus hindering justice against the perpetrators. The danger of sexual violence in schools has created a barrier for girls to seek education. HRW also reported that South African girls’ school performance suffers after an incident of sexual violence.

I passionately suggest that churches, instead of dancing around with Shofar around a golden ark etc(sorry, something that as a foreigner found quite strange in some SA conventions), unite their volunteer talents and work to produce some kind of Anti Rape, pro humanity, pro values show that could go on tour in SA, or at least in just in their respective communities.

Indifference is a crime just as murder itself. If the church does not step in, I wonder what today’s youth will be like tomorrow.

If we stay quiet, this becomes a habit of our nation, habit forms character – silence just affirms evil. Evil becomes routine. That is NOT my and NOT your South Africa.

Do not look away. Get involved. BE the fathers that protect, the role models, the champions of those girls around you, and STEP IN.
A nation that proclaims to have 85% Christians in its population should cry out in Shame at those statistics.
Andries and I are definitely busy addressing this issue with African pastors as well.
I am totally convinced that we all underestimate the potential of our churches in tackling the rape problem in South Africa.
Yes, 85% of South Africans call themselves Christians and one third of girls under 18 are raped.
That means rapists attend churches and listen to a lot of bla bla, it means church goers know and befriend rapists and say NOTHING and do not step in.
So we need to work together with all churches especially in rural areas to address the problem, outlaw it, mark it as beastly, threaten with eternal hell and legal actions, and make it every christians first and foremost duty to protect the girls, boys, women and even men around them from becoming crime victims.
The call must be step up and step in!!!!
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11 thoughts on “Step up and Step in: how can we fight rape in SA?”

  1. To the Bridge Builder,
    Thank you for the visit to my page and the approval of the title “sleep . . . glorious sleep”, it is appreciated. After reading your posting “Step Up and Step In . . .” I was unaware, as many are I am certain, of the statistical account of rape crime in South Africa, the United States, and in all supposedly “civilized” nations. Again, thank you for the visit and also for causing my accountability to the rape issue and its eradication from our lives as a concerned follower of Christ. Continued success.

    ichibon

  2. Christiane – I agree that this situation violates the dignity and value of those being harmed. I applaud you for working to change the social climate so that this is not acceptable.
    A question for you: Regardless of the social climate, these crimes are done in secret. Are there real legal consequences for these crimes? Do women feel free to report these crimes to law enforcement? And if they do, does law enforcement take them seriously, and take appropriate action?
    I will be in prayer for you efforts in the church.
    – Scott

    1. Hi Matthew, you are for sure entitled to your opinion about condoms, although I do not see what they have to do with my post? As a pastor I have personally been handing out hundreds of condoms on Eastern Europe to poor people who had 14 under nourished children and wives who had gone through multiple traumatic abortions because nobody cared to tell them there are better ways of family planning.
      Before we do not see the whole picture, we should not judge. So here I am approving your comment, wondering what it has to do with my heart breaking post about rapes in South Africa, telling you I risked my life being chased down by Russian Mafia hidden on the back of an Army truck in a 500km car chase worthy of Tom Cruise himself, just to get those condoms delivered.

  3. Fantastic article. I agree that it is time for the people to take action. Instead of sitting back and treating rape as “the black sheep of the family” we should actively become involved. I have also started a campaign. Bumper stickers and t-shirts (profits of which to go to Rape Crisis Centers) will be available this week. For more info go to http://nanuschka.wordpress.com. Keep up the good work!

    1. I am wondering who to talk to in developing a cellphone app that by the pressing of a button rings up all your tagged friends with your signal that you are in need and a location. I would like to have such an app, together maybe with a necklace that if u pull it off, triggers a loud sirene plus sends the same signal to your friends phone. Had Anene Boysen had such a necklace alarm, the people in the homes closed by would have heard and could have reacted. Its not difficult to develpo and one billion people would sure buy it. All that’s left is to tech the public to respond and react on the signal.

  4. Indifference is a crime just as bad as violence. By looking the other way you help to make crime possible. If you hear a scream: get help. If you see tell tale signs of abuse: get help. If you have any suspicions: get help. Never duck and dive. Why do you think we are on this earth? To watch soapies??? NOT. If its all a bit too much, have a cupcake. But you are always obliged to step in, at all costs.

  5. Very good article, and without doubt necessary in such a turbulent country. It is admirable that you bring this subject to peoples attention and I wish you luck with your endevours. Keep up the good work.
    Roy.

  6. Great post and sounds like you are doing something to fit this. Something has got to change, and you’re certainly right that it is NOT culture. Would love to hear more about the self defense work you are doing-perhaps I can do something similar in my village. It breaks my heart to think that many of the beautiful and innocent children I work with every day have been put through something as horrible as sexual abuse.
    -Jen

I would really love some feedback from you!

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