Pro­mo­tion of em­pow­er­ment

Rape Cri­sis cam­paigns to raise funds and cre­ate aware­ness

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - NEWS - TANYA PETERSEN

WITH 16 Days of Ac­tivism for no vi­o­lence against women and chil­dren in full ef­fect, Rape Cri­sis is ap­peal­ing for sup­port of its cam­paigns in or­der to con­tinue its work in as­sist­ing rape sur­vivors.

Rape Cri­sis Cape Town was es­tab­lished in 1976 and is the old­est or­gan­i­sa­tion that sup­ports the re­cov­ery of rape sur­vivors in South Africa.

Ac­cord­ing to its web­site, South Africa has one of the high­est in­ci­dences of rape in the world. the or­gan­i­sa­tion has two cam­paigns, the I ACT Cam­paign and the Rape Sur­vivors’ Cam­paign.

Zeenat Hen­dricks of Rape Cri­sis said the

I ACT Cam­paign aimed to “cre­ate aware­ness and fund­ing for Rape Cri­sis.

Just R100 will spon­sor a coun­selling ses­sion for a rape sur­vivor”.

The idea for the cam­paign was the re­sult of the #MeToo cam­paign, a re­vival of Amer­i­can Tarana Burke’s cam­paign in 2006 on so­cial me­dia which aimed to pro­mote em­pow­er­ment through em­pa­thy among black women who had ex­pe­ri­enced abuse.

The #MeToo cam­paign has since gained global mo­men­tum as a re­sult of celebri­ties who have come for­ward about sex­ual ha­rass­ment and rape claims against men in the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try.

Hen­dricks is ask­ing that women who tweeted or fol­lowed #MeToo sup­port the I ACT Cam­paign.

She said the I ACT con­cept aims to en­cour­age sup­port­ers to act through do­nat­ing to­wards the cam­paign.

She said the aim of the Rape Sur­vivors’ Cam­paign was to hold the gov­ern­ment ac­count­able for the prom­ise of spe­cialised sex­ual of­fences courts which play a vi­tal role in in­creas­ing re­port­ing and con­vic­tion rates for rape.

“We be­lieve con­vic­tion rates will be in­creased as wit­nesses will be re­tained within the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem and will feel con­fi­dent to tes­tify in court.”

She said the cam­paign en­gaged with the re­gional court pres­i­dents, the depart­ment of jus­tice and the par­lia­men­tary port­fo­lio com­mit­tee on jus­tice and cor­rec­tional ser­vices.

It also as­sisted with the “draft­ing of the new section that has now come be signed into law by the pres­i­dent”.

They will hold com­mu­nity work­shops dur­ing 16 Days of Ac­tivism.

“We will also in­vite par­tic­i­pants to join our pub­lic demon­stra­tion in front of the Khayelit­sha Mag­is­trate’s Court on De­cem­ber 5 from 10am to noon to ad­vo­cate for a sex­ual of­fences court­room to be es­tab­lished in Khayelit­sha.”

For more in­for­ma­tion about the cam­paigns visit www.rapecri­sis.org.za.

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