Xingwana: Rape, abuse campaigns working

Minister Lulu Xingwana says campaigns against rape and abuse in SA are helping to break the cycle of silence.

Women, Children and People with Disabilities Minister Lulu Xingwana. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Women, Children and People with Disabilities Minister Lulu Xingwana says campaigns against rape and abuse are working and helping break the cycle of silence.

The minister says her department's efforts are making inroads.

"Since we started the campaign of 16 Days of Activism for violence against women and children, over the years people have been encouraged to break the culture of silence. I think more and more rapes are being reported."

At the same time a Cape Town organisation which assists child abuse victims believes communities aren't being vocal enough when speaking out about sexual crimes committed against children.

Matla a bana says minors are vulnerable and need to be protected.

Police are currently investigating the rape of an 11-year-old Bonteheuwel boy after he was sexually assaulted a week ago.

A Delft girl is also still recovering in hospital after she was raped and set alight earlier this month.

Matla a bana's Monique Strydom says, "This is where the community members become so important, because a lot of them know what's going on. It looks like a lot more people are speaking out but they need to be a lot more proactive."

ANENE BOOYSEN

Bredasdorp, the Overberg community formerly home to teenager Anene Booysen, will honour the 17-year-old at the weekend, a year after she was raped, mutilated and left for dead.

Booysen's attack was so brutal it shocked both the Bredasdorp community and the rest of the country.

The teen was discovered half naked in a pool of her own blood at a local construction site.

She'd been disemboweled and severely assaulted.

A 21-year-old man is currently serving a double life sentence for the crime.

RAPE STATISTICS

Earlier this week the South African Medical Research Council warned rape statistics are inaccurate and may be deceptive, as many sexual assaults go unreported.

Police figures show more than 66,000 rape incidents were reported over the 2012/2013 financial year.

This amounts to as many as 140 women being raped in South Africa each day.

The council said while it is concerned about the prevalence of rape countrywide, it warns under-reporting is an even bigger problem.