South African women shared their experiences of gender-based violence and sexual harassment on social media using #Iwas and #WhyIdidn’treportit
I took time to read their tweets under these hashtags, as a woman who lives in South Africa I cringed. Being a woman today is fraught with danger – we are going through a lot. It’s scary to be a women in this country. Gender-based based violence is becoming the norm. The fight has never been easy.
Women are recounting sexual violence that they endured at home or in public which they did not report to authorities, fearing shame or blame.
Gender-based violence (GBV) is a profound and widespread problem in South Africa, impacting on almost every aspect of life. Every six hours, a woman is murdered by their intimate partner, every 18 seconds, a woman is raped in South Africa. According to People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA), an average of 360 incidents of physical and sexual abuse against women takes place in South Africa daily.
Gender-based violence has reached undeniably alarming levels in South Africa. It is absolutely unacceptable that women feel they have to watch what they wear in public and be careful about where they are seen socialising, for fear that they may face violent reprisals including rape or even death.
If you are struggling with domestic violence or any form of abuse please reach out to the following organisation. Victims can call the toll-free number on 0800 428 428 (0800 GBV GBV) and you will be able to speak to a social worker for assistance and counselling. Callers can also request a social worker from the command centre to contact them by dialling *120*7867# (free) from a cellphone.