The last couple of weeks have been really tough for women in South Africa as case after case hit the media of women and children of all ages being violated and their bodies inhumanely disposed of and it
broke me shattered me. (For context: search the hashtags #MenAreTrash, #KaraboMokoena and #Courtney Peters) A lot of the incidences were targeted at Black women, which I happen to be.
What upset me further is the fact that in many of these cases, the accused/ the perpetrator was almost always someone known to the victim and/or her family and even went ahead to assist the family to look for the victim. What sort of special animal are you though?
What hurts even more is the fact that justice is meted out based on the socioeconomic status of the victim and therefore thousands in the townships die and no hashtag follows their death. In fact, we hardly know their names and their deaths are not reported on.
The countless rape myths that follow the victim are unbearable. Why was she dressed like that? Why was she with him? Why did she go to his house? How dare she be a lesbian? No, just no!! It is not her fault but his.
A friend of mine tried to think of what to do and even now I still don’t know. Beyond the usual trying to protect yourself from being raped or being violated, what energy is left for you to think of another and to try and stop it from happening to the next woman?