Republic of Sexual Assault launches
A new campaign highlights SA’s ongoing scourge of gender violence.
Teddy Bear Clinic, a nonprofit organisation that provides assistance to victims of child abuse, is working with People Opposing Women Abuse (Powa) in its campaign.
Director of Clinical Services Dr Shaheda Omar said the initiative to urge South Africans to denounce their citizenship of the Republic of Sexual Abuse (RSA) and call for a new passport was an important one.
She said symbols like the national anthem, coat of arms and flag would be revisited to showcase the blood, sweat and tears of victims of gender-based violence. The map would also see a few changes in the alteration of the nation’s provincial names.
“The constitution protects the [sexual] perpetrators, while women continue to be violated and this is normalised,” said Omar. “We are saying we need to break this cycle of abuse.”
She said for a country that was the 128th-biggest in the world, it seized the third and fifth spots in the world’s worst gender-based violence occurrences. In 201718, statistics revealed there were 52 400 cases of sexual assault, a 4.6% increase from the previous year.
“There are 114 [rape-related incidents] reported around the country – 75% of them are rape cases and 65% of them withdrew their cases.” Women are killed every four hours.
“I can’t see why we would receive any backlash because this campaign is grounded in facts. It should be a reminder that we have to do something.”
Omar echoed Powa’s sentiments that citizens needed to be constantly reminded that there needed to be a change. To do this, she said, they must contribute more to the cause.