On Friday 23 May, Cravenby Secondary School in partnership with Partners in Sexual Health (PSH), Childline/Lifeline and Ravensmead South African Police Services (SAPS) said enough is enough to Sexual Violence. They were protesting against one of the most persistent and oldest human rights violation. Although rape is in nature violent, rape is becoming deadly with the victims dismembered and tortured before they are brutally killed. South Africa is sitting with a huge challenge of sexual violence.
The majority of victims of this heinous crime are in most cases women and children. Unfortunately, not all the rape incidents are reported to the police due to various reasons including fear of reprisal or embarrassment. Consequently, we are sitting with a bigger problem than portrayed by statistics.
The Cravenby Secondary School Learners decided to take the bull by its horns when they protested in solidarity with the rape victims. Although this was part of their curriculum requirements, the vigour and enthusiasm that these learners and their Life Orientation Teacher took this campaign, was a clear demonstration of the extent the young people of the Northern Suburbs in Cape Town were tired with the scourge of violence against women, particularly the girl-child.
These learners picketed with placards on Francie Van Zijl Drive in Parow. They were joined by PSH, Childline/Lifeline and SAPS Ravensmead. The demonstration attracted a lot of attention from the motorists and passers-by, of which the majority showed a clear support for the protest. This was followed by a school gathering at Cravenby Secondary School where PSH, Childline/Lifeline and SAPS Ravensmead engaged the entire school community on an educational session on sexual violence.
The Cravenby initiative marks the beginning of a concerted educational and awareness campaign against sexual violence both in schools and within the community. This initiative has led Partners in Sexual Health, Schools and SAPS planning a bigger march on the South African Youth Day on June 16th. The purpose of this planned demonstration is to show that “RAPE IS A HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION AND CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY”