Journalist. Writer. Researcher. Editor.

Activism rss

PRESS RELEASE: #NotOurLeaders Campaign launched by Women and Democracy Initiative, Lawyers for Human Rights

November 25, 2017

#NotOurLeaders Campaign launched by Women and Democracy Initiative, Lawyers for Human Rights and gender violence specialist during 16 Days of Activism to end violence against women

PRESS RELEASE: SA Constitutional Court to hear case regarding removal of 20 year statute of limitations for sexual offences that do not include rape

On 14 November the Constitutional Court will hear the case seeking confirmation of the South Gauteng High Court judgment handed down on the 19 June by Acting Judge Hartford in the matter between Levenstein (and 7 others) and Sidney Frankel, the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, and the Director of Public Prosecutions, (Case 29573/2016). The judgement struck down section 18 of the Criminal Procedure Act as unconstitutional. The section barred the right to prosecute all sexual offences, other than rape, after a period of 20 years after the offence has been perpetrated.

Con court ruling against ‘teen sex’ law protects rape survivors’ rights

Last week’s Constitutional Court ruling decriminalising consensual sexual relationships between teens was met with moralising outrage across the country. Sensationalist media fanned the flames of indignation by failing to contextualise the law’s effect on teen sexual relations – including rape.

Under the impugned sections 15 and 16 of the Sexual Offences Act (SOA) teenage rape survivors, especially girls, run the risk of being criminally charged for being raped.

Enthusiastic Consent: Only Yes Means Yes

There are few things hotter than a woman who wants you, and says so. A throaty whisper in your ear, “I want you” to the over the top yet cock-hardening “Take me now, [insert name here]!” Even the instructive, “please put that here” has been known to get many men and women hot in the nethers.

My rape as “alleged”

Here are some lovely examples of victimisation and rape culture online. I haven’t written about this much lately, but I thought I’d share the latest developments without going into it in-depth today.

Why I won’t respond to your tweets about false rape accusations

Over and over and over again commenters and tweeple insist on discussing false rape accusations over rape survivors’ experiences and the challenges they face in dealing with their trauma, finding support and reporting to the police. This despite the fact that false rape accusations make up less than a percentage of the total projected rapes… Read More ›

Naming rape accusers? Beatty, just don’t.

This morning the Weekend Post broke the news that Cosatu secretary-general Zwelinzima Vavi has been accused of rape by an unknown woman. The story quickly spread across social media as various news organisations ran their own versions of the recent allegations to plague the beleaguered (and often controversial) Vavi. Journalists’ coverage of the allegation have brought up ethical questions around the reporting of sexual violence.

My activism is

Again, another comment I made on @ivovegter’s column that I wanted to cross post here. This is a discussion about my activism and the shape it takes. I often get snipes from people that I only do “online activism” or “slacktivism” – a completely baseless claim. I think it’s premised on the fact that I am a very outspoken netizen and always online, but it’s fallacious none the less. So here’s what my activism is.

The third space – a place for meaningful, heartfelt engagement

This is a comment I made on @ivovegter’s most recent column on the brouhaha about rape metaphors. I decided to re-post it here, because I have been thinking about this a great deal in recent months. In short, this comment was responding to how the debate became a point-scoring session of one ‘team’ against another, which just devolved to such a point that both sides felt angry, hurt and frustrated. We can’t seriously have debates continue this way – it’s not contructive, and we’re just hurting each other. So, with the help of Leon Louw, I came up with the “third space” – a place for debate and dialogue that is premised on compassion and good faith.

Child rape confession for Queenstown – TRANSLATION

Translation: Admin please hide my identity. This matter is quite terrible. I am a young man living in Qoqodala. I have been sleeping with my sister’s child who is eight-years-old. My niece has always adored me. It seems she has gotten used to my having sex with her, she does not even cry anymore, but I am now starting to feel guilty about what I have been doing. Sometimes she’ll tell me that she hurts but never tells her mother. I give her sweets sometimes so that she keeps the secret.

Rhodes Confessions page – is this how we want to represent Rhodes?

Since I’m been blamed for taking down the first Confessions page even though I didn’t, I’ll take credit where it’s due and highlight the beyond the pale posts on the new one.

PHOTOS: Silent Protest, by Adrian Frost

Some incredible photos of me while at the Silent Protest. All these pics were taken by the extraordinarily talented Adrian Frost. Read his post on the SP and see more of his pics here.

Will gov have 58 sexual offences courts ready by September? No.

The South African government’s claim that it will establish 58 dedicated sexual offences courts, to be fully operational by September this year, appears to be untrue. No budget has been announced and there appears to be no clear framework for how the courts will operate.

Anti-Harassment Act heralds end to cyberstalking

A NEW law against stalking and harassment came into effect over the weekend after many years of campaigning by sexual violence NGOs.
The Protection from Harassment Act (PHA) was adopted by parliament in 2011, and came into effect on Saturday April 27.
In a statement the Department of Justice (DoJ) explained that the PHA would provide South Africans with an in expensive civil remedy to deal with harassment, mainly by means of a court order preventing the harasser from con tinuing with the unwanted behaviour. Any person that con travenes such a court order is guilty of an offence and liable to fine and/or a maximum prison sentence of five years, according to the DoJ.
A Rhodes University student spoke to the Daily Dispatch about an online stalker that has been harassing her since October 2012. The student asked not to be named.

Porn and sexual violence – some studies

So, journalist Barry Bateman asked me on Twitter this evening about the relationship between porn and rape. What evidence, solid studies positively link porn to rape? @jacquesr @mishsolomon — Barry Bateman (@barrybateman) April 24, 2013 I’m not sure why Barry posited the question to me, but that’s neither here nor there. Soon after this tweet,… Read More ›