The Cold Hard Facts

Source: www.rape.co.za

X 68% of rapes occur between 6pm and 6am

X 31% of female victims report that the offender was a stranger

X 45% of rapists are under the influence of alcohol or drugs

X In 29% of rape cases, the offender used a weapon e.g. a fire-arm barrel, a broken bottle or even a knife.

X 75% of rape victims require extensive medical care after the attack

X One in two rape victims is under the age of eighteen, one in six, under the age of twelve

X In South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Nigeria sex with a virgin is believed to be a cure for AIDS (Source: Suzanne Leclerc-Madlala, lecturer and researcher, University of Durban –Westville).

X One in every four men surveyed in South Africa admitted to having sexually assaulted a woman

X More than 2777 women are raped in South Africa per day - UNISA reported in 2002 that 1 million women and children were raped each year. (South Africa: Focus on the Virgin Myth, 2002)

X In local rural tradition, if you have not undergone the circumcision rite, you are not a man and the only other way to prove your manhood, is by raping a girl. (Research the story of Dumisani Rebombo.

X Rape as a weapon of war

Rape in warfare is rooted deep in world history and well established in modern warfare, however it can no longer remain an issue silenced by suppressive governments, ignorance and fear. Just days ago (July 30th, 2010) 200 women and small boys were gang raped by rebel forces who had occupied Luvungi town and surrounding villages in Eastern Congo. This brutal spree of raping and looting went on for 4 days, according to Associated Press, it took place a mere 16kms from a UN military base. Several weeks later the UN still had no comment.

In war there are many weapons that may be employed and while the Kalashnikov may be the favoured weapon in modern warfare, there is one weapon all men carry and do not hesitate to use. Rape is an effort to dehumanize and defeat the victim. Not only does it leave physical scars, but huge emotional ones too, which impact not only on the individual but also on the families and communities of these victims.

One of the greatest historical instances of mass rape warfare dates back to the 13th century as Genghis Khan, whose great rise to power came from his military mastery as he amassed his empire across Asia and Central Europe. Genghis Khan established his overwhelming power through strategic use of violence and terror at the expense of millions of women and young girls, as he established strategic policies of rape warfare. In recent history, rape was used in World War II by the Nazi‘s, Soviets, and by the Japanese (as was the case with ‘Comfort Women’ and the infamous Rape of Nanking) and it was used in Vietnam.

In countries such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Guatemala, India, Liberia, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Sudan and the Congo, to name but a few, rape as a weapon of war continues in recent and on-going conflicts. (For additional information read the research paper Rape as a Weapon of War and its Long-term Effects on Victims and Society, by Cassandra Clifford and The Foreign Policy Association, New York.)

There is no recorded rape of a women carrying a walking stick or umbrella – these are definitely deterrents!

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