Shaping the voices of tomorrow

“Everyone has rights and the children in the community have the right to be protected from rape.” – Nkota Siyabulela, 16 years old, Kwamfundo High School, Khayelitsha.

At school there are children who have been raped. Some of the other children laugh at them and they end up leaving school. There are a lot of gangsters in the community and they take girls away and rape them. This happened to a girl I know and she came back crying and then stayed at home for a week and we were all worried about her.

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Before I was a Rape Crisis peer educator I didn’t know much about rape or what you were supposed to do if you had been raped. I also didn’t think that anyone would listen to me because I am a child and they will say that a child can’t tell an elder what to do.

In the Rape Crisis training and at the Birds and Bees camp we learned a lot about our rights. Everyone has rights and the children in the community have the right to be protected from rape. We learned the important things that someone must do if they have been raped. With that friend we were so worried about, I called her friend and gave the friend all the information I had and told her that she can call Rape Crisis if she wants support. After a while she did come back to school.

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I think that I can use all the things I know now to protect myself better. I know what my rights are and I know the steps I need to take after rape if I ever have to so that I can get medical help and so that there is evidence for the case. We as peer educators are a team and we can help to fight rape in our community because we have the knowledge. I hope that people will listen to us now that we are trained.

“Rape is not the end of your life. You can put it behind you and be the best person that you can be in life.“Nkosinathi Magusha, 18 years old, Kwamfundo High School, Khayelitsha.

There were many things that changed for me in doing the Rape Crisis peer educator training. As a man, I didn’t know that if your wife or girlfriend doesn’t want sex and you force her then it is rape, even if you have had sex many times before. Anyone can say no to sex at any time. You can’t own a person and they can still choose for themselves what they want to do.

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I used to believe that it is sometimes a woman’s fault that she is raped if she always wears sexy clothes. I thought that if woman dress like this then they are encouraging men to look at them and the men will eventually try to rape them. This is not true for a lot of reasons. Most people that are raped are not dressed in sexy clothes; they are normal people wearing normal things. If a woman wants to be looked at, that is a very different thing from wanting to be raped; no one wants to be raped. Also, people should be free to wear what they choose and not be blamed for it.

For me, the skill I will use the most is taking to people who have been raped. I know a lot about rape now and all the practical things that people can do. But I also want to encourage people who have been raped to be strong because being raped is not the end of your life. You can put it behind you and be the best person that you can be in life.

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If you would like Rape Crisis to provide talks, workshops, or implement a peer educator programme in a school, contact Nazma Hendricks on (021) 684-1180 or nazma@rapecrisis.org.za

 The Rape Crisis peer educator programme is kindly funded by Oxfam.

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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.

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