'There's this misunderstanding that if you get raped you just carry right on'

The launch of 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children each year sees new campaigns aimed at addressing the scourge in South African society.

RELATED: Campaign remembers women lost to abuse and the dark places in which they died

One programme that has been running for more than ten years is Rape Crisis's Birds and Bees project.

It trains peer educators to challenge rape culture and build a culture of consent in their schools.

They realised the need for this approach when it became clear that adolescents listen more to peers than authority figures, says Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust director Kathleen Dey.

RELATED: 'Money put aside to deal with gender-based violence is not a long-term solution'

She explains that an important part of the work is to dispel the myths of gender stereotypes.

There's a whole scope for a conversation about what are the real and what are the stereotyped differences between girls and boys and giving the kids a chance to debate that amongst themselves.

Kathleen Dey, Director - Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust

She cites the example of what she says is a very pervasive misconception - that women wearing revealing clothing are asking to be raped.

It's always a talking point. You'll have a young girl stand up and she's wearing a short skirt - it's her school uniform! So they will challenge the boys with that notion right then and there and have eye-opening discussions about it.

Kathleen Dey, Director - Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust

The sessions also give pupils the space to talk about violence and the impact it has on individuals and communities.

There is this absolute misunderstanding that if you get raped you just pick yourself up, dust yourself off and carry right on.

Kathleen Dey, Director - Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust

Understanding how crippling and how traumatic it can be, is also very eye-opening for everybody in the room during those sessions.

Kathleen Dey, Director - Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust

Find out more about the programme here.

To listen to the conversation with Kathleen Dey on Lunch with Pippa Hudson, click on the link below:

Thumbnail image: Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust on Facebook


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'There's this misunderstanding that if you get raped you just carry right on'


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