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SOUTH AFRICANS “SHOCKED” OVER RAPE SURVEY RESULTS
June 21 2009
Pretoria, South Africa – Mankind first settled in what is now South Africa more than 100,000 years ago. A product of our wandering ways and curious nature that spread the species through Europe, Asia, and the America’s, the settling of the South represented our ability to conquer virtually any terrain. Fighting prehistoric predators
and carving out the essentials of human civilization, the settling of South Africa is considered one of the great achievements of early mankind. The expeditious nature that allowed the conquering of the entire African continent led to our current status, having conquered all corners of the planet.
Of course that was a long time ago and for many modern day South Africans might as well have been a world away. Tribal conflicts eventually gave way to European conquest and the institutionalized subjugation of an entire race. Things have changed of late though. Apartheid has been done away with and both white and black South Africans have achieved a kind of
racial equality. Despite that the country remains one of the poorest in the world and has been virtually overrun by crime in certain areas. Now a new report indicating that at least one in four men in the country have committed rape and that gang rapes are common, South Africans are reacting with shock that people are shocked by the news.
“We know that we have a higher prevalence of rape in South Africa than there is in other countries,” said Professor Rachel Jewkes of MRC, who conducted the survey. “And it's partly rooted in our incredibly disturbed past and the way that South African men over the centuries have been socialised into forms of masculinity that are predicated on the idea of being strong and tough and the use of force to assert dominance and control over women, as well as other men.”
South Africa has long been regarded as having the highest number of rapes in world on a per capita basis, something which has long defined the political and social view of the country.
“There are very few South Africans I think that will be shocked by the news of this level of abuse across the country. With those numbers if you haven’t been raped yourself then someone you know has been. In some places you have entire families that have been raped over and over again so for them this survey is not surprising news,” said Scrape TV Crime analyst Willard Weston. “I doubt many rapists are surprised by the numbers
either. I mean rape has become such a growth industry in recent years for men the same thing applies. Either you or someone close to you has raped someone or will rape someone in the very near future. Just as racism and apartheid so defined the country for so many years, rape has become almost the reason for existence for many South Africans.”
The number of rapes has increased dramatically across the country. A survey last year indicated that one out of every twenty men had committed rape. The increase has been attributed to a growing number of young people getting into the field.
“The pride that South Africans display in respect to their rapes is really quite remarkable and something that is uniquely South African. They had nothing but pride for apartheid even when the rest of the world had done away with racist policies and condemned them for it. The same is true of rape. In most countries if you were to conduct a rape survey you’d have zero positive responses not because of the lack of rapes, but because most people would want to hide it,” continued Weston. “In South Africa though rape is almost a badge of honour, something that’s almost become a rite of manhood and that most people in the country simply wouldn’t want to do without. The fact that the police are largely ineffective and mostly rapists themselves lends to that atmosphere and allows rape to flourish across the country.”
Officially the South African government has no rape policy but many believe they may pursue some kind of legislation following the survey.