Thursday, December 2, 2010

Confronting Violence Against Women and Children in South Africa

In South Africa, we are currently observing the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children (25 November-10 December). As you may know, violence against women and children in South Africa is a pervasive issue. South Africa has one of the highest rates of reported rape in the world--and it has been estimated that only one in nine rapes is reported to the police. In 2009, a survey found that 28% of South African men had raped a woman or girl, with 5% reporting that they had committed rape in the past year. In a recent article in the Cape Argus, it was reported that a four-year-old girl who was raped was denied treatment at two separate health facilities when she and her family sought care. One in four South African women is a victim of domestic abuse. Arrest and conviction rates are very low. And with the huge bottlenecks and backlogs in the health sector, counseling, medical treatment, and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) to protect against HIV are all difficult to access.

People Against Women Abuse (POWA) is one of the activist organizations heavily featured over the past week, and it has had a lot of visibility due to the video below. It records a man playing drums in a townhouse complex in Jo'burg and then, a few days later, playing a tape of a domestic dispute. Neighbors' reactions differ a bit between the two noise incidents.

Hat tip (H/T) to Allie for supplying the vid.

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