'A second pandemic': South Africa plagued by surging rape and abuse cases

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Dec 20, 2021, 09:08 PM(IST)

South Africa plagued by surging rape and abuse cases Photograph:( Twitter )

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The recent stats revealed an increase of 7.1 per cent in rape cases, with 9,556 women raped between July and September. 
President Cyril Ramaphosa deemed the recent stats as "shameful." 

South Africa is not just affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic but is also deeply plagued with increasing rape and sexual abuse cases. It has the world's highest levels of violence against women. As per the official data, there are over 100 rapes reported daily. Also, on average, a woman is murdered every three hours.

The recent stats revealed an increase of 7.1 per cent in rape cases, with 9,556 women raped between July and September. 
President Cyril Ramaphosa deemed the recent stats as "shameful." 

He further said that violence against women is a "second pandemic."

"We are in the grip of a relentless war being waged on the bodies of women and children that, despite our best efforts, shows no signs of abating. If a nation's character can be judged by how it treats women and children, then we are falling desperately short," he said.

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The statistics show that about a third of girls in South Africa will have to go through some form of sexual abuse during their lifetime. Also, one in five children will be sexually assaulted. 

The rate of child murders has also surged by nearly a third as compared to the previous reporting period.

Precious Robinson, from Right to Care and chairperson of the South African Civil Society for Women’s, Adolescents’ and Children’s Health said that it is very unfortunate that such cases are never reported. “Some cultures have this tendency of saying if a thing happens within a family, let’s not take it out. It’s a secret, it’s a family issue. Families will often worry about what people will say if they hear about it,” she said.

A 2010 study revealed that 25.3 per cent of women in Gauteng province had been “raped by a man, whether a husband or boyfriend, family member, stranger or acquaintance”. 

This has also contributed to the worsening mental health conditions as many survivors are shocked and traumatised. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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