41% of all reported rape cases in South Africa are against children. Such shocking statistics reflect a need for national introspection and highlight how rape advocacy work requires the inclusion of all society, as this pandemic affects all of us, not just women and children.
There is no clear and singular cause for the high rate of rape in South Africa except the commonality of the perpetrators, who are men. In her book, Rape: A South African Nightmare, Pumla Dineo Gqola says that “if we are at all serious about making sense of rape’s hold on our society, we need to interrogate the histories of rape in South Africa.” We are all aware of the country’s violent history, which may have created the prevalence of violence, be it structural or otherwise, that the country is facing currently. As the majority perpetrators of rape and gender based violence, male intervention is key if we want to put an end to this extreme burden on our society.