With April being the Sexual Assault Awareness Month, we thought it appropriate to highlight the adverse consequences rape and violence have on our community and economy.
Rape Culture is an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture – perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies, and the glamorization of sexual violence, thereby creating a society that disregards women’s rights and safety. Rape Culture is a part of our society.
It is well documented that South Africa has one of the highest rates of gender-based violence (GBV) and rape in the world. Using a conservative estimate, gender-based violence costs South Africa between R28.4 billion and R42.4 billion per year – or between 0.9% and 1.3% of GDP annually. GBV resulting in wasted resources that could be used towards productive economic growth.
Considering the substantial effects GBV and rape have, not only on our community of women and girls but also on the economy of our country, TEARS seeks to create awareness to facilitate the transformation of attitudes and values of our society, so that abuse of any kind becomes unacceptable; that rape is not something we grow accustomed to. TEARS’ innovative projects need to be implemented to address the scourge of rape and abuse crippling our country.
Joy Cottages – A helping hand to a new start!
Most women stay in abusive relationships for fear of losing everything, including stability for their children. By housing them, they will have the opportunity to get back on their feet, through counseling, financial assistance and the change to recuperate in familiar surroundings giving them the best chance to survive.
This project’s aim is to provide a safe space for women where they have the privacy and security to rebuild themselves and ensure a smoother transition into society. The children should be able to stay at their school or in a similar environment, keep their friends whilst their mother can find her feet in familiar surroundings.
TEARS, like many other organisations that help rape and abuse survivors in South Africa, teeters on the brink of closing every month-end. The harsh reality is that the fight against rape and sexual abuse is overwhelmingly underfunded, meaning that many victims cannot get the help that they so desperately need. Initiatives like the Joy Cottages need funding in order to be implemented so that victims can get the assistance they so sorely need.