NEWS
23/03/2018 14:41 SAST | Updated 23/03/2018 14:41 SAST

Powa: Abuse Stories Never Make Front-Page News

People Opposing Women Abuse says it launched "The Daily Abuse" newspaper to put the injustices that women face in the spotlight.

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Domestic violence, rape and assault are rampant in South Africa, with the statistics to back this up. But women's empowerment and feminist organisation People Opposing Women Abuse (Powa) says not much is being done to interrogate the violent society that South Africa is.

That is why it decided to start a newspaper that focuses specifically on the stories of women and children who are victims.

"The Daily Abuse" launched this week, garnering a huge response on social media.

Executive director Nhlanhla Mokwena says launching this newspaper will shed more light on women abuse.

"We only highlight violence and talk about it in August or during the 16 Day of Activism... You will never find a story on the front page besides that," Mokwena said.

She says the publication was specifically meant to take an "in your face" approach.

The publication is designed as a broadsheet newspaper that will report on 360 incidents of domestic and sexual violence in South Africa – highlighting the prevalence of gender-based violence in the country.

Powa

According to Powa, an average of 360 incidences of physical and sexual abuse against women take place in South Africa daily. This means that a woman is physically abused every four minutes.

The organisation held a picket to launch the paper yesterday. Mokwena says they chose to do it in the more affluent north of Johannesburg to demonstrate that women abuse happens in all communities.

Women held placards saying "drugged, beaten and left" to show their frustration at the injustices against them.

"Picketing on Grayston Drive was to give a powerful message that violence does not only happen in townships," said Mokwena.

The 2016/2017 statistics for rape incidents were down from 41,503 in 2015/2016. An average of 109.1 rapes were recorded each day, according to Africa Check.

The rape rate decreased to 71.3 from 75.5 per 100,000 people. The Eastern Cape had the highest rape rate at 105.3 per 100,000 people.

The fact-checking organisation recorded 156,450 common assaults in 2016/2017. On average, 428.6 people were victims of common assault every day.

The Institute for Security Studies cautions that these statistics may not reflect reality and cannot be taken as an "accurate measure of either the extent or trend of this crime".