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Friday, February 18, 2011

South Africa’s Rape Epidemic

anti rape campaign in South Africa South Africa’s Rape Epidemic

In a recent study, one in four South Africans acknowledged committing a sexual violation in his life and close to half of all those surveyed admitted having done more than one attack. 73 percent of those who admitted to rape had their first violation even before they reached the age of 20. In addition, one in 20 respondents said he had raped a woman or a girl in the last year.

Although all the victims in the main survey were females, the survey report also includes cases of rape to men, whether suffered by the respondents themselves or as committed by them. One in 10 said that he had been raped by a man, while 3 percent said to have perpetrated the rape of a male, either adult or child.

Gang rape has also been deemed a rite of male bonding.

These are some of the findings revealed by a study conducted by the Medical Research Council of South Africa, based on analysis of nearly 2,000 cases. Among the cases examined were 1,738 men in urban and rural areas of all racial groups in the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape.

“We know there is a greater prevalence of rape in South Africa than in other countries,” says Prof. Rachel Jewkes, a researcher at the center responsible for the report. Jewkes emphasized the need to change the ‘social attitudes’ by which for years have considered as socially acceptable the coercion of a woman to have sex.

It was observed that masculinity translated to notions of physical strength, toughness, and use of force to assert dominance and control over women are socially rooted in the South African culture.

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