Today, on Mandela Day, we celebrate the power of individual actions to make positive change. Rape Crisis decided to harness this energy by encouraging individuals and communities to #ExposeRapeCulture on social media, and by coming together to plan Mandela Day actions to highlight those myths and beliefs that contribute to our high rates of rape.
Our first action of today was a workshop in Cape Town. The Pepper Club Hotel & Spa generously gave us a beautiful space in which to join together with others in the Cape Town area and talk about those beliefs and the impact they have on the way we think about rape and how we treat those who are survivors of rape.
After our discussions, we each wrote a statement that is meaningful to us and that we would like to expose by sharing with others.
Here is what we had to say:
“My dress code does not give you consent to rape.”
“I don’t lack a sense of humor. Rape jokes are not funny.”
“You have every right, and you are strong enough to speak out.”
“A random drunk guy kissed me against my will and my friends thought it was funny. How is that funny?”
“The length of my skirt does not say ‘rape me’.”
“He can’t be a rapist – he’s too ‘decent’.”
“Break the silence and speak out. Your voice needs to be heard.”
Thank you to everyone who attended, and we look forward to working together again soon and supporting one another in challenging rape. And thanks once again to the Pepper Club for your ongoing support of our work.
If you would like to donate to our change making projects, click here.