The brutal gang rape and murder of 17-year-old Anene Booysen last week left South Africans in shock. Many of us are hoping that this is the final tipping point for a nation that has suffered from the plague of sexual violence for far too long.

We found some of the most informative articles that will keep you thinking and talking:

1. Will South Africans ever be shocked by rape?

The gang rape of Anene Booysen is constantly being compared to the recent gang rape and murder in India (will insert relevant link). While in India mass local outrage and uprisings ensued, South Africans seems numb in comparison. This article examines how, despite the presence of angry articles online and radio talk shows, we seem to be stuck, unable to unite and mobilise ourselves in the fight against rape. It suggests that maybe South Africans are too used to violence.

Read the full article here 

2. Do men hold the key to fighting rape in South Africa?

This article describes a workshop in the Johannesburg township of Alexandra, where a group of men were given the chance to discuss rape. When asked, ‘How many of you have ever raped a woman?’, two men raised their hands. A new movement is emerging where, in towns and cities across South Africa, small groups of men are meeting to talk about sexual violence. ‘The community said that she deserved it… It happens so often that it is not taken seriously by the community,’ a man who attended the workshop said. The article concludes that rape is so entrenched in our culture that some men feel they have the right to commit rape.

Read the full article here

3. As long as we exist, we will be raped

An excellent article that looks at the topic from a different angle. The mother who wrote it writes: ‘Anene was raped and mutilated because she was a girl. It was her vagina and breasts that they wanted to destroy… It was her girl-ness. These parts of her were broken and sliced and pulled apart, not by monsters, but by her friends.’ A challenging article that goes to the heart of what it can mean to be a woman living in South Africa.

Read the full article here 

4. Rape is not about sex

Renowned sex columnist Dorothy Black writes about how rape is still confused as being about sex. That is, as something that the victim can control through her behaviour and dress. We know that this misconception still exists because victim-blaming and slut-shaming still exist. Black argues that even though female sexuality is sold as a commodity in magazines and films, this doesn’t mean that it’s to blame for sex-based violence.

Read the full article here

5. If you were raped, would the police know what to do?

Members of the online news blog, 2oceansvibe, went to three different police stations in Cape Town and asked the Constables on duty to define rape as well as to lay out the procedure for reporting rape. Some of the officers gave vague replies, some refused to answer at all, and some fetched brochures in order to read their answers from the printed sheet. At least one officer answered brilliantly. Overall, the officers didn’t seem to have a broad definition or standard procedure and their lack of knowledge about the issue is worrying.

Read the full article here

Michelle Hattingh, CT Intern