Repub­lic of Sex­ual As­sault launches

A new cam­paign high­lights SA’s on­go­ing scourge of gen­der vi­o­lence.

The Citizen (KZN) - - Front Page - Chi­som Jen­nif­fer Okoye

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.

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