1,600 protest silently in Durban, demanding justice for rape survivors

In Global, South Africa by AHF

AHF and partner organizations led the 2nd Silent Protest in Durban, South Africa on August 21 with 1,600 participants, to draw attention to rape survivors whose voices are routinely silenced by sexual violence and call for greater access to Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) after rape.

The protest—co-organized with the Durban University of Technology, Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) and Sisonke Sex Worker Movement and Lifeline Durban—aimed to highlight rape as a greater epidemic than what is acknowledged by the officially statistics and demonstrate the connection between HIV and gender-based violence.

Sexual assault is a big problem in South Africa; in 2013-2014, 66,000 sexual assaults were reported. Of these, just 6.5% were successfully prosecuted and less than half of 1% of the perpetrators will serve any jail time. Statistics estimate that anywhere between 260,000-1.5 million rapes occur annually.

“The event was an overwhelming success,” AHF South Africa Regional Policy and Advocacy Manager Larissa Klazinga said. “It drew support from all walks of life and unified the Durban Community in a call to expand access to PEP and provide services for rape survivors.”

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