0 %


has suffered physical abuse at the hands of a spouse.

0 %

Between 25% and 40%

of South African women have experienced sexual and/or physical IPV in their lifetime.

0 %

Just under 50% of women

of South African women have experienced sexual and/or physical IPV in their lifetime.

0 %

Approximately 51.1% of the population

of South Africa is FEMALE
(Total population: 30.5 million)

More than


instances of GBV and


 instances of domestic violence were recorded between July and September of 2021.



women were killed

(7.7% more in the same period 2020).

Sexual offence cases and rape events grew by 4.7% and

0 %

 respectively, from the second quarter of 2020.


women were killed and

11 315

raped between October and December of 2021. (Based on the third quarter of 2021)

GBV attacks are carried out by:

total strangers
a friend or acquaintance
a spouse or intimate partner
a relative or household member

A woman is




hours in SA

Sexual violence is committed by and experienced by person/s of all genders however, 

MALES are more frequently the abusers while women, and children are the victims.

Estimates of the prevalence of rape in SA range from 12 to

0 %

of women who have ever reported being raped.

28% to

0 %

of Adult men who admit to raping a woman

SA also faces a high prevalence of


Most first-time rapists are male youths, and virtually all repeat offenders are males in their mid

0 s
0 %

of males in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape reported being sexually victimised by another male


Rape is defined as: Any act of sexual penetration with a complainant (survivor) that is unlawfully and purposefully committed without the complainant’s permission. This is in accordance with the Sexual Offences Act of December 2007.

Women, men, and children from all areas of life are all susceptible to rape. Nobody asks to be raped, and having intercourse without permission is rape.

The majority of rapes are carried out by individuals the victim knows; however, you might be raped by a stranger or someone you trust. Rape isn’t about sex; it’s about control and power.

A crime of power, not of desire, is rape. It’s a violation of your human rights and is forbidden by law.
A rape is said to occur every 17 seconds in SA, where 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men are raped, 1 in 25 incidents are reported to the police, 45% of rapes in SA are classified as child rapes, and 50% of children in SA will experience abuse before the age of 18.

SA has the highest child and baby rape incidences in the world, and a South African woman’s chance of being raped is higher than her chance of learning to read.

Myths and preconceptions regarding rape are among the major issues our society is dealing with. These false notions have detrimental impacts on the community, preventing victims from receiving justice and healing, and letting rapists get away with their crimes. 

To help victims find healing and justice, it’s crucial to understand the difference between a myth and the truth and to reject myths.

Myth: A drunk and inebriated woman asked to be sexually assaulted.
Truth: It’s rape if there was no consent! Consent must be freely granted in its entirety by a person who is capable of doing so.
Myth: A woman wearing provocative clothing asked to be raped.
Truth: The rapist does not become enamoured or lustful by the sight of a woman’s body or what she’s wearing. Rape is about wrath, hatred, power, and control.
Myth: All rapists are strangers.
Truth: In the majority of cases, the victim knew the rapist. According to Rape Crisis, 10% of victims are raped by strangers, while 90% are by somebody they know.
Myth: If you’re married or in a sexual relationship, rape can’t happen.
Truth: You have the right to refuse even in a relationship. If intercourse is forced after being refused, it’s rape.
Myth: If someone consented before, it’s acceptable to do it again.
Truth: If it was the first time, one can’t assume that it will always be OK. Every time, consent is required.



It’s advised to refrain from fighting back as 85% of rapists in SA are equipped with a knife or gun.

You must be absolutely certain that you can fight them off before putting yourself in greater jeopardy. It’s crucial for women to learn self-defence skills and tactics to help them avoid potentially harmful situations and eventually save their lives.

At some point, your survival takes precedence above the rape.

Remember how they appear, not what they’re wearing. Pay attention to any markings like scars or tattoos that will help the police recognise them.

Attempt to memorise only one attacker if there are several attackers; do not let them know you’re doing this.

Scratch them if you can – for DNA evidence under your nails.

Your survival is a priority, therefore get to a secure location.

Even though it may be challenging, tell a trusted person so you may receive assistance and support. If a stranger is the first person you see, make sure to collect their contact information.

Don’t wash, brush your teeth, shower, or bath because you will wash away DNA evidence. 

If you were drugged, you’d need to be tested for the type of substance, so don’t eat or drink anything, and don’t take any medication.

Don’t change your clothes.

If possible, visit your neighbourhood Netcare hospital or local police station.

Conduct a forensic investigation to gather DNA evidence related to the crime.

You can report irrespective of whether you want to lay a charge or not (laying a charge means you want the case to go to court).

It’s your responsibility to report the case, to prevent the rapist from hurting someone else! The reporting procedure is as follows:

Your statement will be taken by a police officer. When you make the statement, a friend or family member can be there. You’re entitled to request a female officer take your statement in a quiet space and in the language of your choice. 

You’re welcome to add to your initial statement if you feel it was insufficient. It’s crucial that you recall what you said, therefore demand a copy of your statement.

When you call the police to ask questions about your case, you must always refer to your assigned case number. 
If you go to the police station to report the crime, they will transport you to the hospital so they may examine you forensically and collect your DNA.

If you need to attend an identification parade, the date of the trial, when you will have to give testimony, when the suspect is detained, when he or she is released on bail, or when the matter is resolved, the investigating officer should keep you informed.

To make further calls about case information, a survivor must make sure they have the investigating officers’ contact information.  A prosecutor will then receive the case from the police. You should be able to get information about the case from the police officer, the investigating officer, and the prosecutor.

DNA evidence, which must be collected within 48 hours, can convict rapists.

DNA is the material found in cells that determines characteristics such as eye, hair and skin colour. 

Each individual’s DNA is unique to them. This is why it’s crucial to avoid bathing or cleaning yourself after a rape and why DNA can be used to identify the offender.

DNA types that might hold evidence include blood, skin, saliva, nail tissue, hair and semen.

Reporting sexual assault incidents and keeping DNA evidence could: Increase likelihood of identifying the offender; increases likelihood of holding perpetrators accountable, and prevents sexual attacks from happening in the future.

You are entitled to:
Be treated with respect and decency at all times by the medical professionals who support you after the rape, including the nurses, police, prosecutors, and social workers.

Receive complete and accurate health-related information. The cost of any medications they can prescribe to you as well as their availability must be disclosed to you by health professionals.

If you’re seriously injured, you shouldn’t be refused treatment even if you’re unable to pay for it.

It’s private to disclose information about your health. Without your consent, no healthcare professional may disclose your HIV status to others.

Worried about contracting HIV after being raped?
To lessen your chance of contracting HIV, you can take ART (anti-retroviral) medications referred to as “post exposure prophylaxis” or PEP. Children can also use these medications.

As soon as possible after the incident, but no later than 72 hours (3 days), you must begin taking the medication. 

It’s too late for these medications to lower your chance of developing HIV if more than 72 hours have passed from the rape.

You must undergo an HIV test before starting treatment, which must include pre-test counselling (discussing what the test means) and post-test counselling after you’ve learned the test’s results.

Only those who have tested HIV-negative can begin taking medication. The medication must be taken for 28 days.

These drugs are strong and might cause side effects including headaches, fatigue, skin rashes, a runny stomach, nausea, and others.

Typically, these adverse effects are minor and transient. Go back to your doctor and ask for medicine to help you manage the side effects if they’re particularly unpleasant.

If you test HIV-positive, you won’t start taking medicine, but you should talk to your doctor about self-care measures you may take.

Where can you get these medicines?

These medications are provided without charge at some clinics and state-run hospitals. They’re also available through pharmacies, but you’ll need a prescription and they could be pricey. 

Today, the majority of medical aid programmes offer and cover these medications.

After 6 weeks from the rape, another HIV test will be performed. You must ascertain the outcomes of your HIV tests to be aware of your status.

Tragically, it’s now generally accepted that child sexual abuse occurs often in many of our communities, including schools.

Because of a power disparity, this abuse frequently occurs by family, neighbours, or teachers.

The most important thing for you to understand is that sexual abuse is not your fault.

Step one: Going to the hospital
You should seek medical attention as soon as you can if you have experienced physical or sexual abuse. If possible, visit the hospital within 72 hours following the abuse. By doing this, the medical professional will be able to administer medicine to help prevent HIV infection. You must take this drug, PEP, every day for 28 days.

Additionally, the doctor or nurse might be able to administer birth control. In public hospitals and clinics, both of these medications are free.

The PEP and medicine to prevent you from becoming pregnant won’t work if you don’t visit the hospital within 72 hours after being abused. Ask the doctor or nurse what additional options are available.

You should go to the hospital with a dependable friend or relative.

Step two: Reporting your abuse to the police
It’s crucial that you inform the police if you’ve experienced sexual abuse so they can look into your case and track down the offender.

As soon as possible after the abuse occurs, you should contact the police to report it. The earlier you report the incident, the simpler it will be for the authorities to gather the proof they want to track down your abuser. 

Even if you take a while to report the incident, the police must nonetheless look into it.

Step three: Going for counselling
An individual who has experienced sexual abuse need medical attention, comfort, compassion, and support.

You might want assistance after being abused to feel safe again and to cope with life after such a traumatic and difficult incident. 

It’s impossible to predict when you will feel like yourself again. It varies from person to person and might take a few weeks to many months or more.

Step four: Applying for a protection order
According to the law, if you fear being hurt by someone, you can get an order for protection. This has nothing to do with the criminal justice system.
A crime of power, not of desire, is rape. It’s a violation of your human rights and is forbidden by law.

There are two types of protection orders. One is under the Domestic Violence Act and the other is under the Protection from Harassment Act. 

Visit your nearest magistrate court. You’ll be given paperwork to complete from the court clerk, including a statement outlining the incident and the manner in which the harassment or abuse occurred.

The clerk will present your application to a magistrate, who will promptly issue you an interim protection order. You’ll be given a date to return to court to get a final protection order.

Take a copy of your interim protection order to the police station as soon as you receive it so that they may provide it to your abuser.

You and the abuser will both need to appear in court on the return date.

Step five: Reporting the case to the department of education
If a teacher at your school is abusing you, you should report them to the police as well as your principal.

The department of education must be informed by the principal. You should report the situation to the department of education if your principle is the one who is sexually assaulting you or if your principal fails to do so. 

You can get help from family or friends. You can also speak to another teacher who you trust.

Step six: Transferring to a new school
It could be very difficult for you to continue attending the school where you were assaulted. 

In that situation, transferring to a new school is an option.

Netcare’s Sexual Assault Centres are integrated into the emergency departments of the majority of Netcare hospitals, which offer comprehensive care to rape victims. The units are all staffed by compassionate and caring people.

This holistic service focuses on treating physical injuries, ensuring that the proper procedures are followed when gathering evidence, helping with reporting the rape, and offering counselling to help deal with the emotional trauma.

Netcare Sexual Assault Centres collaborate closely with organisations like the Teddy Bear and Rainbow clinics when it comes to child victims. They also have a great working connection with the SAPS and can help sexual assault victims report their crimes.


Sexual – Any sexual activity carried out against the victim’s will is sexual abuse.

Physical – This is the most well-known type of abuse since it purposely results in physical harm. This could involve physical violence including beating, kicking, strangling, property destruction, using a weapon, etc.

Economic/financial – Taking advantage of a partner’s financial situation by managing the home budget and preventing them from using their own bank account or making purchases.

Emotional/verbal – Occurs when one partner uses derogatory language, insults, jealousy, intimidation, humiliation, and other tactics to exert control over the other.

Any other controlling or abusive behaviour which poses a threat to your safety, health, or well-being.



You have the right to apply for a protection order at the police station or magistrate’s court or filing a criminal complaint at the closest police station.

A protection order is a court order for the abuse to stop against a person with whom you have had a domestic relationship.

Additionally, it could stop them from enlisting anybody else’s assistance in their criminal activity.

For your protection, a temporary restraining order may also be obtained at any hour of the day or night. Any domestic abuse victim may request a protection order.

If a child is too young, a parent, guardian, or any other individual acting on their behalf but with their consent, can apply for a protection order.

Question: Is domestic violence the same as adolescent dating abuse?

Answer: Despite being comparable, the two are perceived differently by most people. Domestic violence and adolescent dating abuse both involve abusive behaviours that are used to exert control over a victim. Abuse can take many forms, such as physical, emotional, verbal, and technological/cyber. Abuse of any kind may hurt and leave scars. You may get harmed without being beaten.

Question: Can a relationship be abusive even if we’re not “dating?”

Answer: Yes, abuse may occur in relationships with friends, family, and casual acquaintances. Even when you’re not dating someone, they might treat you badly.

Question: Why will my friend not “leave” the abusive relationship?

Answer: Your friend might not be able to make the decision to go. Victims may feel ashamed and embarrassed. The abuser has gradually destroyed their self-esteem. Additionally, they might not be ready for word of the abuse to spread across their social group. Numerous factors contribute to victims’ refusal to “leave.” Leaving frequently does not guarantee an end to the violence. In actuality, when the victim leaves, the violence will worsen. Making a safety plan with a therapist, friend, or advocate is crucial for this reason.

Question: What can I tell my friend who think it’s all her fault?

Answer: As you talk to your friend, provide resources. Your friend needs a sympathetic ear that is free from criticism. Reassure her/him that you care about their physical and emotional well-being, and that what’s occurring is not their fault.

Question: What consequences can adolescent dating abuse have?

Answer: Dating abuse can have long-lasting impacts. Drug misuse, dropping out of school, depression and/or anxiety, eating disorders, and attempts are more common in victims. Victims frequently feel alone and lose their sense of identity.

Question: Is it possible to determine whether the person I like has an abusive personality?

Answer: You can look for a variety of in a potential abuser. Common signs include jealousy, controlling behaviour, unauthorized use of a cell phone or email, constant texts or calls, anger issues, separating you from friends or relatives, keeping an eye on you or questioning you constantly, and telling you what to do.

Question: I’m not aware of any victims of adolescent dating abuse. Is it really happening in my community or school?

Answer: Because it’s embarrassing, a victim of abuse won’t tell anybody, not even their best friend. It’s possible that the person in line in front of you or the person sitting next to you in class is a victim or survivor.

Question: How can I tell if my friend is a victim of adolescent dating abuse?

Answer: There are several symptoms to look for that will give you a hint, even though you may never be able to tell for sure if someone is being abused.


Gaslighting is a word used to describe a type of psychological and emotional abuse that causes victims to doubt their reality and sanity.

It is a strategy frequently employed by narcissists, psychopaths, or those suffering from behavioural problems to manipulate and control others.

There are four main types of gaslighting. 

  • The first is a flat-out lie. It’s the least damaging but still very harmful. It’s employed to mask covert behaviours and fosters a strong sense of mistrust in interpersonal interactions.
  • The second type is reality manipulation, which can give the victim the impression that they’re losing control over reality. The capacity of a person to recognise what is true and to have faith in their own memories and judgement is frequently questioned and damaged.
  • The third is scapegoating, in which the abuser subtly assigns blame in an effort to defend their actions. This could happen when a dishonest partner exaggerates their spouse’s flaws.
  • There’s also coercion, where the behaviour ranges from charm offensive, to pressure and manipulation and even bullying or violent behaviours.
The immediate symptoms include being agitated, feeling tense, losing focus and attention, getting frustrated with arguments, and even retaliating against friends or relatives who express worry.

Long-term effects might include psychological stress, despair, loneliness, and anxiety. One’s self-esteem and confidence might be impacted too.

If you always feel the need to apologise, if you think you can do nothing right, or if you frequently feel anxious or worried, you may be experiencing gaslighting in one of your relationships.

Ultimately, there’s hope for recovery and healing.

The victim must keep in mind that the abusive behaviour is not their fault. Additionally, they must refrain from debating the truth with the abusive individual and rather practise listening to their thoughts, feelings and instincts again.

The abuser must also stop the destructive behaviour and accept full accountability for the emotional abuse.

Finding a safe space to calm your thoughts and assess how you feel about yourself is also advised. Be mindful of your emotions.

Resources like counselling and support groups may be quite helpful in one’s healing.

Physical abuse, as the word suggests, is any intentional use of force against another person that causes physical hurt, trauma, or injury. 

It may have negative effects on the survivor’s health, and in certain instances, it may result in a variety of psychological issues and difficulties. It’s frequently employed as a strategy by one person to take control of another.

Physical abuse can have both acute and chronic impacts. Unfortunately, physical abuse is often far-reaching and has an impact on both the victim and the abuser’s friends and/or loved ones.

Some “red flags” to look out for while on a date or getting to know someone are:


  • Possessive, bossy and gives orders, he/she scares you, loses temper quickly, attempts to manipulate or guilt-trip you by saying “if you really loved me, you would…”, brags about mistreating others, says “I love you” – early in the relationship, uses drugs, anger issues, and constantly moody or agitated.
  • Jealousy is the number one “red flag”! They’re not jealous because they love you. They’re jealous because there are insecurities and lack of trust in the relationship. This is not a healthy relationship. 
  • They are constantly checking where you are. They do it to keep an eye on you and to control you; they don’t do it because they want to know where you are all the time because they care about you.

Abuse victims often feel humiliated and helpless in their circumstances. This frequently discourages them from getting therapy. 

However, getting help from the appropriate sources is essential for anyone moving forward towards recovery. Alternatives to in-person treatment can be especially helpful for abuse survivors. It’s normal for some people to feel awkward about meeting with a therapist in person.

The repeated degradation of another person’s mental health and well-being through non-physical actions is referred to as emotional abuse.

A family member, friend, or romantic partner may still be emotionally abusing you even if they don’t use physical force.

Because the indications of emotional, verbal, and psychological abuse are typically less visible than those of physical abuse, they’re also more difficult to identify than physical abuse.

A relationship that’s emotionally abusive, however, can result in low self-esteem, PTSD, depression, and other mental health issues.

The first step in helping yourself or someone else who is in an abusive relationship is being aware of the warning flags.

Here are seven indicators to look out for before it’s too late.

1. They’re overly critical of you

When someone is emotionally abusing you, they may insult you constantly even after you ask them to stop, or they may hold you to impossible standards and then belittle you when you fall short of them.

Even if there’s no disagreement, they could frequently curse or shout at you. They criticise or threaten you with words in an effort to get you to crumble or start doubting yourself.

2. They intentionally humiliate you

Those who engage in emotional abuse may employ humiliation as a strategy by making disparaging remarks about your looks, intelligence, or personal success.

When little insults are repeatedly directed at you, they can have a detrimental effect on your self-esteem

This will be used by emotional abusers to persuade you to keep your relationship with them. All of this is a harmful tactic to keep you dependent on them.

3. They purposefully intimidate you

Because you worry about the consequences of disagreeing with the other person in a close relationship, you find yourself giving in to their requests.

This indicates that they have the ability to intimidate you. It could appear as though you’re the target of unwarranted verbal abuse and threats.

These are harmful intimidation practises that may also result in physical violence. 

4. They mean to isolate you 

This individual will strive to keep you apart from those who are close to you. 

They don’t want people in your group to recognise any warning flags of abuse. If the other person wants to visit them, they can threaten to stop the relationship or prevent the development of new friendly relations. 

5. They reject you

This is another way for someone to exert control over you by using the power of rejection.

It causes you to feel insecure and guilty when you’re abruptly cut off from their support.

You rely on them for emotional support while you’re alone as well, and when they get distant from you, it might leave you spinning.

Another example of this is when someone rejects you in public or in front of friends and family as a form of punishment. 

6. They want to exploit you

They reach out to you only to use you at the exploitation stage of emotional abuse.

When the tables are turned and you need their help, they provide little in return and become emotionally distant. 

7. They have a harmful level of control over you

Emotional abusers can make you dependent on them for any decision, big or small. They’ll manipulate and gaslight you, which will make you doubt your own judgement.

You may be experiencing emotional abuse if you frequently worry that making a seemingly harmless decision would anger the other person.

If you’re in an abusive relationship, knowing and recognising the symptoms of emotional abuse is the first step in taking care of yourself. It’s crucial to take action and get the support you need and deserve.

Narcissistic abuse can come in many different forms, including insulting remarks, growing contempt, ignoring behaviour (such as the silent treatment or passive-aggression), triangulation, sabotage, downplay, and much more.

Many people are unsure if they’re a victim of narcissistic abuse. This can be greatly influenced by inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitude change and the confusion that comes with abuse.

We can help you identify subtle signs that you may be a victim of narcissistic abuse.

1. Your relationship is not kind, caring or sane

It might be difficult to understand toxic relationships at times. This occurs because the toxic individual will turn it around on you, place the blame, and refuse to take responsibility.

Keep in mind that if someone wrongs you and is unable to provide a sincere apology, and you continue to hang out with them, they will continue to wrong you. They won’t ever feel regret.

2. You deal with immature behaviour and give up pieces of yourself to comply

Narcissistic relationships are characterised by the individual getting worked up on hairline triggers that mature adults simply don’t get worked up over.

Additionally, they have a sense of entitlement and want special treatment, and if they don’t get it, they may be abrasive, demanding, harsh, and even explosive.

3. You’re angry, disjointed and behaving in ways that you normally don’t

Even if you’re aware that you’re honest, have good communication skills, are empathetic, and get along with the majority of people, there’s someone that makes you feel your worst.

This often happens when your boundaries are broken and when standard human behaviour isn’t upheld.

Narcissists state how disloyal your accusations of them are when confronted, or they argue with you to manipulate you into something unwholesome.

4. Trying to prove you’re a good person 

This is due to the narcissist’s repeated accusations that you’re everything that they are and do, including missing moral character, compassion, and love for others, as well as being unfaithful, lying, and making everything about yourself.

Naturally, you’ll be furious and make a valiant effort to prove and convince them otherwise.

You are prone to this narcissistic behaviour if you assume that the opinions of others determine your integrity, character, well-being, and safety.

5. You’re mopping up the mess

Being close to a narcissist entails a lot of drama, rough edges, and, quite honestly, the constant threat of disaster.

Narcissists typically lack attention to detail, responsibility, and sensitivity. They fly high, seeking narcissistic attention while giving little to no effort to acting morally.

If one of these people is a part of your life, it’s likely that you’ll be helping them with their problems and dramas, paying their fines, and even lying for them to cover their tracks.

6. Your boundaries are being disintegrated

People with weak boundaries frequently become connected with narcissists.

It’s tough for you to speak out, defend yourself, or set boundaries with this specific individual because you risk criticism, rejection, abandonment, or punishment if you do.

As a result, you give up attempting to emphasise your requirements in an effort to reduce the drama and mayhem that ensues.

7. You feel addicted, disjointed, and manic

Do you feel frenzied and unable to stop attempting to get in touch with or meet up with a narcissist, while knowing how much this is hurting you constantly?

How dependent we are on someone who abuses us so horribly may be horrifying.

8. You’re suffering from abuse symptoms

It’s likely that anxiety, depression, as well as more serious conditions like fibromyalgia, adrenal problems, PTSD, and agoraphobia, begin to develop.

As the toxic person in your life consumes more of your energy and concentration, you begin to lose interest in the things, people, and self-care that used to give you energy.

You may begin to withdraw from society, lie to people, cover up, and feel even more alone in your traumatic sentiments and symptoms as a result of the overwhelming humiliation and agony.

There are many levels of narcissism, and some people may merely be ignorant and self-centered without necessarily having narcissistic personality disorder.