South Africa

We Will Speak Out South Africa (WWSOSA) is a coalition of faith communities and partners working together to prevent and end sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) across South Africa. The coalition is the South African chapter of a Global We Will Speak Out Coalition.

Together we dream of transformed, just and reconciled communities where the lives of men and women, girls and boys are no longer shattered by gender based violence.

We work together to ensure that:

1. CHURCH LEADERS SPEAK OUT
Church leaders speak out and provide strong and positive leadership within their churches and communities to end sexual violence, recognizing and promoting the importance and centrality of survivors, demonstrating gender sensitivity and empowering women;

2. COMMUNITIES AND CHURCHES PROVIDE SAFE SPACES
Local churches and communities provide safe and stigma-free spaces for survivors of sexual violence, support survivors and assist them in accessing services, at the same time pursuing community action to break the silence around sexual violence, to advocate zero-tolerance, challenge impunity, overcome stigma and discrimination against survivors, and promote choice, opportunities and renewed hope;

3. CENTRAL ROLE OF SURVIVORS AND EMPOWERING WOMEN
Women, girls and survivors (all genders) take their place within communities free of stigma, claiming new futures, rebuilding their lives and their families;

4. TRANSFORMING MASCULINITY
The church proactively engages men and boys in ending sexual violence, and demonstrates models for positive masculinities and femininities, and transformed gender relationships;

5. THE COALITION AS A LEARNING SPACE
The WWSO coalition provides a learning space to learn from survivors, and to share experiences, challenges, research, strategies of success and tools in order to strengthen and measure faith-based responses to sexual violence in order to enhance advocacy.

Through the work of the Coalition, the silence is broken.

A movement of survivors of sexual violence in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, was launched on the 22nd of November 2013. 12 months on, the movement has grown in number, confidence, hope and purpose. To date Tearfund has been accompanying over a 100 survivors in this province. The numbers continue to grow as women and girls find safe spaces and speak out, inspiring one another. Listen to their voices, their experiences and their hopes as they journey forward together.

This was supported by Amplify Change as part of the Movement for Change Project.

  • Why it's important
  • Fikile
  • Fundisiwe Mbongwa
  • Khanyisile Sibisi
  • Mandisa
  • Thandiwe Ngubane
  • Minenhle
  • Ngetheni Msane
  • Nomusa Ndebele
  • Ntombi Maselo
  • Yvette
  • Mary

Tearfund is grateful to UNFPA South Africa for making the collection of stories possible.

The videos were filmed by Christina Shange.

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Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town and Metropolitan of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, the Most Revd Thabo Makgoba launching ‘We Will Speak Out: South Africa’ in November 2013.

South Africa

Population: 51,770,560 (2011 census)
Location: Southern Africa

 

SV Statistics

  • 66,065 people reported sexually assaults to the National Police in 2013. Between 80 and 95 percent of rapes are not reported due to fear and stigma.
  • Conservative estimates suggest that more than 580,000 rapes could have been committed in 2012
  • In 2008, a survey found that 28% of men in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces had raped a woman or girl.
  • One third of the men who had committed rape did not feel guilty

Sources: United Nations, Medical Research Council in South Africa, LEAD SA/South African Police Service, Tearfund research findings

 

I will speak out because…

Join survivors of sexual violence, church leaders, organisations and members of the general public in speaking out against sexual violence by SIGNING OUR PLEDGE HERE

 

Breaking the Silence Report

Breaking the silence demonstrates the urgent need for the local and national church in South Africa to unite, work with key stakeholders and take action to end sexual violence (SV). The report highlights three key points:

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1. Sexual violence is widespread across South Africa and has a deeply traumatising and damaging effect on survivors.

2. The church has often failed survivors of sexual violence. Many churches deepen the impact of sexual violence through their silence, stigma and discrimination. Some churches have not done enough to care for the marginalised or to speak out on their behalf.

3. The church is central to community life and has untapped potential to prevent and respond to sexual violence. It can provide care and support, stand alongside survivors seeking justice, and identify and challenge harmful attitudes and beliefs within society that perpetuate sexual violence.

 

Photos from the 16 days of activism to end violence against women and girls campaign 2014

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For more photos, please click here.

Read report from the 16 days of activism campaign from WWSO South Africa

WWSOSA updated final report

Men’s March against violence against women and children

Umlazi Oasis March 2014 (1)

On 31st August the Oasis Church in Umlazi Township one of the biggest township in KwaZulu-Natal took a firm stand against the abuse of women and children. This was a special gesture marking the close of Woman’s month. The men of the Oasis Church in Umlazi took upon themselves to lead a campaign through a march demonstration from the church to the local taxi-rank and in the community holding placards with messages against advocating against the abuse of women and children.

For more details about the march, view here.

 

 

 

We Will Speak Out: South Africa Launch

On the 25th November 2013, Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba and UNAIDS South Africa launched ‘We Will Speak Out: South Africa’ at Pretoria Cathedral.

Read the coalition statement here.

UNAIDS and AB  UNWomen

Report and pledge card  attendees praying

Speakers included the Anglican Church, HOPE Africa, National Prosecuting Authority, Tearfund, SAFFI, Sonke Gender Justice, UNAIDS and UNWomen (pictured above) spoke during the event.

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The Most Revd Thabo Makgoba lead the attendees in prayers for those affected by sexual violence and the local church to respond and prevent sexual violence.

 

We Will Speak Out: South Africa Activities

Since the launch several new organisations have joined the coalition, therefore on 10th September 2014, coalition members will meet to develop activity plans for the future.

On 26th November 2013, faith leaders met to develop an action plan for the faith response based on findings and recommendations mentioned in the ‘Breaking the silence’ report. The plan will seek to galvanise broader action at a national level to end sexual violence.

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  • Why we were silent…

    During a meeting with church leaders in KwaZulu Natal, a group of survivors shared their stories thru a poem… Why Were We Silent… “When we speak we are afraid our words […]

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Latest news

Current members of the coalition include:

HOPE Africa  SAFFI SACLI Logo textHOC-Logo (2) Kairos SACCTEASA

NRASD Logo

Sonke Logo

 

TF logo         UNAIDS Logo

 Please note we are awaiting some additional member logos.

 

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