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The different guises of sexual violence

A University of Cape Town professor explains how rape instils a lasting fear in women.

A UCT student holds up a poster during a protest against rape and sexual abuse on campus on 11 May 2016. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - A University of Cape Town (UCT) professor says many women are victims of rape culture without even realising it.

Eyewitness News spoke to UCT health and rehabilitation sciences associate professor Sinegugu Duma about the different guises of sexual violence and how young South African women are affected.

Duma says she has witnessed some women enduring a form of reluctant acceptance that they may become a victim.

"You are continuously threatened as a woman and it could be from the time you wake up, the remarks that you get, to touching that isn't welcome, to rape itself."

She adds that she was shocked at how a student mentally and physically prepared herself for a possible assault before a social event.

"I remember doing some work with students and this one particular student saying if she goes out to a party or where she knows there are going to be men, she would rather wear a female condom just because there is that expectation. It's something that engulfs you."

Duma says rape culture includes various physical or verbal aspects that may be offensive to a woman.

Speaking on some of the dialogue on rape culture, she says he focus needs to shift.

"I wish the dialogues were not only about women, the dialogues were also about what would happen to you if you did this. There has been research done for instance in other university's where men, when they knew what could happen to them then they would stop."