Stop the Bus! Day 5 – Breaking the silence

Shaamiela at the start of an intense discussion with members of the Stanford community.

We spent today in the informal settlement of Stanford doing door to door and giving talks to the community and the staff members of two flower factories. Before today I haven’t had any direct contact with survivors, but today everyone in the team got into contact with multiple survivors and mothers of survivors and we dealt with all the different types of rape. Stanford clearly seems to be a hotspot and it appears there is little support in the community for rape survivors. The stories were dismaying and we all wish we could spend more time in this community to provide more aid. We met adult survivors who were raped for the first time at a very young age and never got any counselling throughout their lives. It is obvious that the need is dire and it’s utterly pitiful that we could only be there for one day.

At the back of my head a question lingers, what if this is not unique to the Stanford (predominantly coloured) community and what if the other communities we visited were unable to open up because of language and cultural barriers (we only have one Xhosa facilitator on the team). We have had some amazing breakthroughs and triumphs during the past week but it is undeniable that there is still much work to be done. Even though the experience today was devastating, it was also eye opening and pumped a thirst for action into every member of the team.

Kids playing in the informal settlement of Stanford.

Mevrou Jonkers from Bure vir Bure.

Evelynne and Antie Mina from Bure vir Bure in discussion.

A staff member from the Fynsa flower factory.

Ntuthu giving a talk to the staff of Bergflora.

Shirleen enjoying the smell of fresh flowers.

Ntuthu and Abigail with Constable Gweyi and Elbe from Badisa

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About rapecrisisblog

We have a vision of a South Africa in which rape survivors suffer no secondary trauma, and are supported throughout their interaction with the Criminal Justice System (CJS). Our mission is to promote an end to violence against women, specifically rape, and to assist women to achieve their right to live free from violence. Rape Crisis Cape Town seeks to achieve its mission through counselling and training of women, thereby reducing the trauma experienced by rape survivors, and encouraging reporting of rape and the conviction of rapists.

10 thoughts on “Stop the Bus! Day 5 – Breaking the silence

  1. Well done Rape Crisis, you’ve done it again. 16 Days of Activism will never be the same without the Stop the Bus Campaign. You doing amazing work for survivors of this terrible evil. Wishing and praying for the day that organisations like yours won’t have to exist. A huge thumbs up tp all staff and volunteers for the amazing work you doing. We salute you! Sharon Kouta VEP Coordinator – United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Western Cape

  2. Yes, the struggle continues….but with support and action, like the women from Rape Crisis, on the bus, we will strive to empower other communities. I am sure you are all tired, but STUNNING work.

  3. Well done ladies, you are BREAKING THE SILENCE!!!! I am happy to see that Nthuthu had male participants in her talk….Great work team!!!!!!!!

  4. Great work ladies!!I ams sure you have left quiteness in all the offices that you’re based in and also in the courts while you are on Stop the Bus…but we know that you are doing remarkable work there in those communities.We miss you and we are with you every step of the way.

    Cant wait for you come back and share the experience.

    Hugggssss,Babs

  5. Breaking the silence indeed. How moving and what excellent questions. It’s also good to see the networking that you are doing with Badisa and the local police. Just remember that Rape Crisis started with just five women in a community meeting together weekly – and here we are 35 years later. Ordinary women can do extraordinary things.
    Love, Kath

  6. Once again beautiful pics. Love the pic of Evelynne and Aunty Mina.

    I think that although it is sad that RC could go there for only one day, it’s positive that this is the second year that we have visited some of these areas, and that at least we’ve made a start.

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