#BlameNoMore Campaign Takes On Culture Of Victim Blaming

Current estimates record that only one in four rapes in South Africa are reported to the police, official statistics recorded 40 035 rapes in South Africa 2017/18, up from 2016/17. These numbers unfortunately represent the highest recorded rape statistics in the world.

The current situation has about 110 women report rape to the police every day in South Africa. From that, fewer than 30 of the cases will be prosecuted, and no more than 10 will result in a conviction. This translates into an overall conviction rate of 4% – 8% of reported rape cases in the country.

#BlameNoMore is a call for change, initiated by Hype Magazine and Tears Foundation, an organisation supporting survivors of sexual violence. As one of the loudest voices in South African popular culture, Hype has the influence to affect real change. The hip-hop industry has a bad reputation when it comes to promoting toxic masculinity and the objectification of women. So, for Hype, this campaign is an opportunity to be a part of changing that narrative.

The Tears Foundation is proud to be partnering with Brand South Africa, as they look to spread the #BlameNoMore movement across the country. South Africans can all play their part and be the change they wish to see. Reframe your own attitude, change the conversation, reach out, create safe spaces, become a better listener and be a pillar of support.

Mara Glennie, Founder of Tears Foundation, says sexual violence is so embedded in our society that we have become desensitised to the headlines, stories and statistics. But the challenge is even more insidious. In addition to official neglect and societal indifference, sexual violence in South Africa is actively perpetuated by a culture of victim blaming.

The culture of blaming the victim is adding to the problem, ensuring that victims don’t feel supported or heard to report the crime.  Many of us would have heard comments or seen posts on social media that blame victims of rape for being a product of their own circumstance. She shouldn’t have gone to that party alone. If you dress like that, what do you expect?  She shouldn’t have trusted him. The result is a silencing of victims.

“In order to address the rape epidemic, we can all take steps to look at how in our own social networks we have normalised this culture of victim blaming that results in so few rapes being reported,” says Glennie. To tackle victim blaming, Tears Foundation, TBWA Hunt/Lascaris and Hype Magazine produced powerful and thought-provoking film. They have also partnered with influential public figures in the South African hip hop scene, like Boity and Shekhinah, to start conversations, change misconceptions and empower victims to speak out.

“The truth is powerfully simple. Rape is never a victim’s fault,” says Rudzani Netshiheni, Editor of Hype Magazine.

“For the month of August, Hype Magazine will be donating 10 per cent of our sales revenue to Tears Foundation in support of rape victims,” affirmed Netshiheni.

“Essentially, when you blame a victim, you accuse someone of their own rape. The video depicts the moral and logical absurdity of victim blaming. After all, who in their right mind would wish that kind or terror upon themselves,” Pete Khoury, Chief Creative Officer, TBWA Hunt/Lascaris that helped produce the short video. The film (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEK9wzuGP6k&feature=youtu.be) is the center piece of the #BlameNoMore, which sets out to impact popular culture by influencing and fueling change.

Since it is difficult to change the behavior of the perpetrators themselves, the #BlameNoMore campaign seeks to tackle a problem that includes every South African. Victim blaming is something that so many of us perpetuate, often without even realising it.

“It’s time to create an environment where people can express themselves in any way they choose, without feeling like they are inviting a crime. It’s time to empower victims with the confidence and support to stand up, stand together and be heard,” says Glennie. “The #BlameNoMore campaign invites every single South African to make a difference. After all, each of us can change the conversation, on social media, among friends and with your family by reframing our own attitudes about who is really to blame for sexual violence,” says Netshiheni.

You can get involved in the #BlameNoMore campaign, by sharing the video, visiting the site, facilitating conversations and sharing the message that blaming victims for their own rape needs to end now. It is time to #BlameNoMore.

 

 

About Tears:

TEARS Foundation provides access to crisis intervention, advocacy, counselling, and prevention education services for those impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault and child sexual abuse. Confidential services are provided to all victims at no charge.

For help you can contact Tears on 010 590 5920 or send us a message to our Facebook page or email address: info@tears.co.za

Tears refers male victims to Mashilo of Moshate Men’s Rights Organization Cell phone number: 082 397 7873, and email address:mashilo@moshomong.co.za.

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