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A Cellphone Can Protect You

In footage posted on YouTube in January, an outraged young Indian woman wields a cellphone to film a middle-aged man she accuses of groping her – twice – between the seats on an IndiGo Airlines flight. ‘I’m videotaping you, mister!’ she tells him as he mumbles apologies. ‘If you ever do this again, you’ll remember this episode.’ Reports of harassment and rape of women are soaring, especially in countries with rapid social change such as…

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Help for Men Who Are Being Abused

Recognizing the Signs and Getting Out Safely While the majority of domestic violence victims are women, abuse of men happens far more often than you’d probably expect. Typically, men are physically stronger than women but that doesn’t necessarily make it easier to escape the violence or the relationship. An abused man faces a shortage of resources, skepticism from police, and major legal obstacles, especially when it comes to gaining custody of his children from an…

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Getting Out of An Abusive Relationship

Protecting Yourself Before and After You Leave Getting out of an abusive or violent relationship isn’t easy. Maybe you’re still hoping that things will change or you’re afraid of what your partner will do if he discovers you’re trying to leave. Whatever your reasons, you probably feel trapped and helpless. But help is available. There are many resources available for abused and battered women, including crisis hotlines, shelters—even job training, legal services, and childcare. You…

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A Survivor’s Thoughts on Healing

Here are one survivor’s thoughts on healing and denial: “The hardest thing for me to realize in working through the effects of rape after so many years was that time does not “heal all wounds”. Time made matters worse because I believed time should have made things better, and it hadn’t. So, as a consequence, I believed I was “sicker” than others. I believed my turmoil to be caused by a sickness inside of me, not a result…

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Sexually Transmitted Infection

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are formerly known as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) – the phrase was changed to more accurately represent the wider occurrence of curable infections versus the negative perception of incurable diseases. Many STIs are treatable, but some have no known cure, such as HIV, AIDS, herpes, and others. STIs and STDs can be spread through sexual contact, but this contact is not limited to just intercourse; infections can occur via: Kissing Oral sex Anal sex…

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Reporting Rape

Reporting Rape

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, you can report this to the police. It is your choice whether to report, but if you do not report then your case will not be investigated or prosecuted. Police are not allowed to refuse to investigate your case if you report it. However, if there is too little evidence after an investigation by the police, a prosecutor may decide not to prosecute your case. There is…

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Protest against violence against women

Prevalence of Rape in South Africa

Police crime statistics released in September 2012 state that in 2011/2012 there were a total of 9 193 sexual offences reported to the South African Police Services (SAPS) in the Western Cape. This translates into just under 27 cases per day. In total, 64 514 sexual offences were reported countrywide for that period. The difficulty with using statistics released by the SAPS is that many incidents of rape go unreported; some studies estimate that if…

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Myths & Truths About Rape

A myth is a false idea that many people believe to be true.  In many societies all over the world, people have believed and still believe in myths about what rape is and what causes it. In South Africa, the legal definition of rape has been changed; this means that our law courts now recognise what rape truly is, instead of upholding rape myths (false ideas). Sadly though, many men and women in our country still…

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