September Newsletter: Latest News from Rape Crisis

Message from Kathleen Dey

It’s time for change.

The Department of Justice needs to roll out the full number of Sexual Offences Courts as promised by the Minister of Justice in 2013. We all have to work together to hold them accountable to their promise.

To this end we launched the Rape Survivor’s Justice Campaign on 9 August 2016, National Women’s Day.  For more on this campaign, please go to our website, and support us in this.

Change is also needed on other levels as well.

Rape Crisis is engaged in a constant battle to challenge rape culture and its impact on the way people behave.

Our Peer Education programme engages teenagers between the ages of 14 and 16 in a series of workshops that help them question myths and stereotypes about gender, sex, and rape.

2016 is the fortieth year since Rape Crisis was founded and a reason to honour our founder, Anne Mayne and first director, Carol Bower.

As radical feminists they fought for systems of support for rape survivors at a time when there was nothing in place and attitudes towards women were extremely sexist.  Rape Crisis was their challenge to rape culture.

It is a constant challenge to remain relevant and progressive as an organisation in the current fast changing political and economic environment. I know how much the members love Rape Crisis, how passionately they work to deliver our strategy and how committed we all are to the organisation’s advancement. Welcome to all the newly trained volunteers! Thanks to all our donors and supporters for you incredible loyalty.

Love, Kath

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Kathleen Dey, Director. Pic: Alexa Sedgwick.

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 Latest on Rape Survivors’ Justice Campaign

The good news is that we’ve identified the seven new sexual offences courts government plans to roll out, bringing the current total to 50 courts.  However we are concerned that the Khayelitsha Court is not on this list. Our next step will be to make sure that it is a priority.

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RSJC at the launch on Women’s Day, 9 August 2016. Pic: Alexa Sedgwick.

Of interest is the Mail and Guardian article, which you can read on:

http://mg.co.za/article/2016-08-26-00-justice-is-a-misogynist-so-its-little-wonder-that-women-get-such-a-raw-deal 

Please spread the word about the campaign, support it yourself and share it with others.

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Our Annual General Meeting

 Thanks to everyone who made the effort to attend our AGM. Beyond the formalities and presentations by Chair, Unathi Magida, and Director, Kathleen Dey, participants were riveted by an extraordinary play about sexual harassment and rape called Niqabi Ninja.

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Pic: Alexa Sedgwick

We all enjoyed the delicious supper and the line dancing that concluded the evening was a great way to celebrate. This marks the start of a series of year-long celebrations to mark our fortieth anniversary including an event for past members later on this year.

If you are a past member or you know of past members we have lost touch with please email Miles Collins, our communications officer at miles@rapecrisis.org.za .

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16 Days of Activism

 We hope to host several productions of the powerful and thought provoking play Niqabi Ninja as part of this year’s 16 Days of Activism. This play deals with sexual harassment and rape. Performances will be followed by discussions and workshops with the audience.  Details about the venue, dates and times will follow. We hope to see you there.

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Niqabi Ninja in action. Pic: Nicky Newman

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Peer Education Programme

This programme is a Rape Crisis success story, with young people learning to question rape culture and form their own new values in order to challenge and educate their peers.

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Pic: Feroza Booysen

Congratulations to the recently graduated group at Intlanganiso Secondary School in Khayelitsha, who will soon be followed by a graduating group at Belgravia High School in Athlone.

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 Counsellor Training

The Rape Crisis counsellor training programme is an intensive three month course. It’s a programme that is the preparation for what’s at the heart of our work – counselling rape survivors towards recovery and reclaiming their power.

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Volunteer counsellors during a training session in Athlone. Pic: Nerima Badroodien

Those that complete the course express best what the experience means to them:

‘The Rape Crisis training and facilitators defeats the definition of satisfactory or excellent – to me, no words can describe what it provides.’

 ‘I’ve developed not only a renewed sense of awe for the resilience and courage of the survivors of rape and sexual assault but for the exceptional people who counsel and support them on their path to reclaiming their own power and identity.’

 ‘My journey began in my search for a purpose in my life, and to be of service to others.  I’ve marvelled at the lessons learnt.’

 Our counsellor training is also a programme that’s entirely dependent on donations. To ensure that we have enough trained counsellors, we need your help.  Please would you give us your donation now by clicking here, and also ask others to join you.

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Have you ever thought about it?

 Every donation we receive to further our work is important. If you would like to donate now please click here to make your contribution.

But what if you don’t have the present means to give a donation?

By including Rape Crisis as a beneficiary in your Will, it costs you nothing now, but is a visionary promise of future support.

If you’d like to talk to us about this, please make contact by calling Charlene Whittern on (021) 447-1467. All bequest communication is treated in the strictest confidence.

You could also share this newsletter with your friends by sending them this link: https://rapecrisisblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/september-newsletter-latest-news-from-rape-crisis/ 

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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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