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Stemme
We are all obliged to protect vulnerable

From January until now, 324 cases of rape have been reported to the Paarl SAPS Unit for Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences. But that does not include the cases that have been withdrawn or those where victims chose not to report the incidents to police.

It is estimated that more than 40% of South African women will be raped in their lifetime, and yet only one in four rapes are reported. It is also estimated that only 14% of rapists are convicted in South Africa.

And each year the frequency of sexual offences just keeps growing, and perpetrators either do not see a day behind bars, or if they are successfully convicted they receive very light sentences.

The seriousness of these endemic crimes is highlighted each year in November and December, when 16 days are set aside to highlight the plight of crimes against women and children – of which rape is very prominent.

But again, as soon as the 16 Days of Activism have come and gone, so too has the concerted effort to combat such crimes.

The fight against sexual assault must be entrenched in the national mindset, a battle or campaign that must never cease. Men and woman, alike, must rally against perpetrators, and the battle must be fought within every institution, from schools to the hallowed halls of Parliament.

The warped South African perception that this fight is hopeless does not detract from our joint obligation to fight rape culture by keeping sexual predators accountable, and our responsibility to protect the vulnerable.

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Stemme

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