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How long will it take before women are safe?

The Constitution of South Africa guarantees freedoms for all its citizens, but there isn't a woman in South Africa who is safe whether in their home, on the streets, at shopping centres or their workplace.

Society always wants to make women feel responsible for violations of their rights, therefore giving perpetrators reasons to continue violating women.

When a woman goes out to drink and gets raped, society asks, "what was she doing at a drinking place? Why was she drunk?" They label women who consume alcohol as irresponsible and loose, but that same stigmatisation is not attached to men who do the same. In a free society where people have freedom of movement, these are the questions we ask when people are violated instead of holding the perpetrators to account.

When a woman goes to the police station to report a violation of her rights, she is at risk of getting raped or violated by the officers meant to assist her. If she successfully lodges a complaint with the police, she will most likely be re-victimised by the justice system that still does not know how to handle rape cases. She will further be violated by the system when there is a failure to procure or ensure there are enough DNA evidence kits distributed to stations throughout the country. The system rapes her by failing to ensure that she gets the necessary services without having to wait the whole day at a hospital before she can be checked by a doctor in order to ascertain that she was indeed raped. The system further fails her because the DNA results take forever to be processed.

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