The rape capital of the world.

Most of the time I try to keep blogs posts light because when it comes to serious topics I prefer to have discussions, not just state my view and move on. But this is an exception.

People always ask about the crime rate in South Africa. About rape, drug use, gang violence and hijackings, all of which are common occurrences. It deters foreigners from wanting to visit South Africa, and probably rightly so.

Even though I don’t live in South Africa anymore, I still follow the news because my family live there. There are so many articles on gang rape, especially recently, that it makes my stomach churn.

But the amounts of articles on the issue don’t correlate to the amount of rapes that happen every day. Every few seconds, 17 seconds to be statistically correct, of every day in South Africa someone  is raped. Forget the generic term ‘someone’, that’s someone’s daughter, sister, friend, mother.

I was watching the news one night, when I still lived there, and it was reported that a male nurse raped an elderly patient. He wasn’t arrested; he just wasn’t allowed to go back to work for a while.

After that I decided to read more on similar rape cases, and it’s appalling how many cancer patients, pregnant patients and even mentally-ill patients are raped in hospital.

Then there are children who are raped. No not even children, babies. There are people who believe that raping a virgin, preferably a new-born baby, will cure AIDS. I don’t know where this myth started but the fact that it’s happened and is happening is sickening.

I won’t say that lack of education is the sole problem, because rapists are not only those who haven’t gone to school or gotten a college degree. But these ridiculous myths that people believe to be true is in part because of a lack of education. And a lack of empathy for others. A lack of decency. Hell, a lack a humanity.

The President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, publicly condemns these actions, but the President of South Africa was charged of raping an HIV- positive woman in his home. I’m pointing out that she was HIV-positive because the President said that taking a shower afterwards reduces the risk of contracting the disease. I don’t know where he got his information from but spreading information like that is detrimental to a country, especially a country where millions of people have AIDS. You’d think he barely has any supporters, but he has many. And if they believe the things he says, who’s to say they don’t follow his example?

I always say that South Africa is a beautiful country. But then I also say that I’d never live there again. Rape is not some far away thought that you’re reminded of when you watch an episode of Law and Order, it’s a real fear that plagues you every day. When you leave your house, when you enter your car, when you leave a supermarket, when you visit a friend; you have to be constantly aware of your surroundings.

I travelled by public transport every day and carried anxiety medication, a knife and a du’ah [prayer] book with me wherever I went. Just in case. And that’s the mind- set you have when you live there. Let me take this taser/knife/pepper spray with me, just in case.

It’s a horrible way to live, and something has to change. I’ve always said that the death penalty should be brought back because the law protects the criminals. I’m not a pessimist, but crime rates have sky rocketed and child rape has increased. Sure there are things South Africa can be proud of, but to be known as the rape capital of the world is definitely not one of them.


8 thoughts on “The rape capital of the world.

  1. This is just so horrific and so very sad. I agree that WAY tougher penalties NEED to be put in place. This just shouldn’t happen.
    Though I was born in Africa, I doubt very much that I will ever go back there to visit.

    1. I know. There are no severe punishments for rapists, some just get a few months in jail. If any jail time at all. And then they get out and do the same or even worse. There’s no rehabilitation so what do they expect to happen exactly..

  2. Rape cases here in India are also a huge cause of concern.
    Here we do have death penalty, but it does not cover rapes until it is followed by a murder (or attempt to murder).

    However I feel that a more basic step in this direction would be to educate the people, especially the young ones. I believe that rapist is primarily in a deformed mental state. It is very essential to get into the mental state of the rapist and then think of a root solution to this inhumane show of strength.

    1. In South Africa the rape victim is often beaten/mutilated and left for dead.
      There are people who are against the death penalty but the way I see it is that there are way too many rapists and murderers. To top that off, gang violence is really high and many that are part of a gang will rape to get into prison so that they have status when they get out.

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