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Researcher unpacks how South Africa's history attributes to sexual violence

24 March 2017 5:50 PM

Lisa Vetten, researcher in the gender violence explains what distinguishes SA's domestic violence pandemic from its counterparts

Lisa Vetten, research associate, Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WiSER) says there is no one particular reason that countries such as South Africa have high incidents of sexual violence.

Because if there was one reason we could focus on it.

Lisa Vetten, research associate, Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WiSER)

Vetten says the high levels of sexual violence in South Africa have a lot to do with a history and a tolerance of violence in general. She explains that masculinity that encourages violence in men is also to blame. Vetten adds that South African law hasn't functioned effectively, therefore losing its legitimacy.

Many of our public spaces are also not safe.

Lisa Vetten, research associate, Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WiSER)

Vetten says living with the legacy of apartheid planning has made public transport quite dangerous for women and men. She says the inability by government and society to look at making safer public spaces creates opportunities for public violence to thrive.

Commenting on South Africa's historic responses to rape, Vetten says demonstrations were used to express outrage towards sexual violence. She says there appears to be a certain fatigue lately around rape which is concerning and may be the reason it less spoken about.

For a lot of people rape is just too ugly to talk about they don't want to be reminded about that reality.

Lisa Vetten, research associate, Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WiSER)

Vetten encourage a change of attitude towards rape.

Listen to Lisa Vetten delve into how racism and sexism contribute to South Africa's rape problem:


24 March 2017 5:50 PM