Rise in rape and violence
By Tarryn Le Chat
More than a third of the 743 new rape survivors treated in the past 12 months at a Khayelitsha centre were younger than 14 years, one in 10 was raped at home by a family member, the youngest was one years old – and Doctors Without Borders has warned that these cases are ‘just the tip of the iceberg’.
According to the Cape Times, the first annual report by the Simelela Rape Survivors Centre, released yesterday by the international group of doctors in partnership with the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Rape Crisis, police, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the Department of Health, says that on average two or three rape survivors a day turn to the facility for treatment.
The court in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, has been so over-burdened with cases that an Adult Sexual Offences Court has been opened.
Anne-Astrid Burlet, project co-ordinator of Doctors Without Borders, said: “This is just the visible part of the iceberg”.
Khayelitsha, with a population of 500 000, has the highest incidence of reported rape in the Western Cape.
Burlet said poverty, unemployment and overcrowding were to blame.
According to the report, a worrying trend was that more than 25% of the survivors had been raped by more than one person and 12% identified their rapist as gang members.
Chantel Cooper, of Rape Crisis, said that men and women need to take responsibility and this is not happening.