Sexual violence in South Africa

Sello Mabusa sentenced for rape has been postponed to the 8th September, the Brits magistrate’s court said. Sello was convicted of rape two weeks ago. He
was found guilty of raping a 14-year-old girl from Jericho. The rate of sexual violence in South Africa is among the highest in the world. Sexual violence is the use of force or manipulation to get someone to engage in unwanted sexual activity without their consent,. An estimated of 100,000 rape cases take place in the country every year. Sexual violence in South Africa (SA) has reached epidemic proportions. Clinicians need to be fortified with knowledge and skills to meet the challenge of caring for those who have suffered or are at risk of gender-based violence (GBV). This issue of CME focuses on sexual violence as the second of three special editions on violence against women and children in SA. Sexual violence involves a continuum that is far
broader than sexual assault, mirroring the complex phenomenon of sexuality itself.
Our recent human rights review identified entrenched stigma against persons based on their
sexual or gender orientation, gender identity or bodily diversity, highlighting such persons’ ongoing experience of harassment, discrimination and sexual and physical
violence. In addition, irregular migrants, trafficked and refugee women, orphans and other vulnerable girls such as those living with disabilities, face increased risk of
GBV. Health professionals need to remain mindful of the inherent dignity of each patient, particularly those marginalized and neglected by mainstream society.
Rape statistics in South Africa Coverage of rape in South Africa has been controversial
and notoriously misinformed for many years. This is because of the aforementioned low reporting of rape cases, and poor record keeping and reporting of rape statistics. Simply put, beyond the official number of cases reported to the SAPS, we do not know the true extent of
rape and sexual assault in South Africa. An infamous – and debunked – statistic quoted by South African actress Charlize Theron, and widely cited in media across the world, was that a woman or child is raped every 26 seconds in South Africa. This statistic would imply that over 1.2 million women and children are raped every year. The source of the claim was a 1998 estimate from a Cape Town Rape Crisis centre, based on the understanding that only one in 20
rapes are reported.