One in four admit to rape in South Africa

June 18th, 2009 - 6:42 pm ICT by ANI  

Johannesburg, June 18 (ANI): A research undertaken by South Africa’s Medical Research Council (MRC) has exposed the country’s widespread culture of sexual violence.

The study has revealed that one in four men in the country have admitted to rape and many have attacked more than one victim.

It found that three out of four rapists first attacked while still in their teens, while one in 20 men said they had raped a woman or girl in the last year.

South Africa is infamous for having one of the highest levels of rape in the world. Only a fraction of the rape cases are reported, and only a fraction of those lead to a conviction.

“We have a very, very high prevalence of rape in South Africa. I think it is down to ideas about masculinity based on gender hierarchy and the sexual entitlement of men. It’s rooted in an African ideal of manhood,” the Guardian quoted Professor Rachel Jewkes of the MRC, as saying.

Around 1,738 men in South Africa’s Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces were interviewed for the study. Twenty-eight per cent of them said they had raped a woman or a girl, and three per cent said they had raped a man or boy.

About 50 percent admitted that they had raped more than once, while 73 per cent said they had carried out their first assault before the age of 20.

The South African government has been repeatedly criticised for failing to address the crisis, where only seven per cent of reported rapes are estimated to lead to a conviction. (ANI)

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