Facts and figures about rape in South Africa.
Dispatches: The Lost Girls of South Africa
A child is raped in South Africa every three minutes, but almost nine out of 10 cases of child rape are never reported
Source: Solidarity Helping Hand (published an analysis of statistics in June 2009). According to the South Africa government statistics site Statistics South Africa (PDF), there are 60 cases of child rape reported every day in South Africa.
The National Youth Victimisation Study of 2005 (PDF; page 62) found that only 11.3% of rapes are reported to the South African Police Service. (Though some authorities, such as the National Institute of Crime Rehabilitation, contest this and say the figure is closer to one in 20). If 60 child rapes are reported and that represents 11.3% of all rapes, they extrapolated that 530 child rapes take place every day. This equals one child rape every three minutes.
Rape is the least likely violent crime to be reported, and victims cite fear of reprisal as the commonest reason for not telling anyone
Source: Statistics South Africa: Victims of Crime Survey (PDF; page 14) 33.3% give fear of reprisal as the main reason for not reporting.
A girl born in South Africa has around a one in three chance of completing secondary school, but she has a one in two chance of being raped
According to government statistics, 170,000 girls per year pass Grade 12 (ie they graduate from secondary school). The population of South Africa is around 500,000 girls per year group, therefore 34% (one in three) complete high school.
According to The Rape Survivor Journal (PDF; 09/01/2008): a study by Interpol, the international police agency, has revealed that South Africa leads the world in rapes. A woman was raped in South Africa every 17 seconds. This survey did not include the number of child rape victims. It estimated that one in every two women would be raped. Between 28 and 30% of adolescents reported that their first sexual encounter was forced. Of South African men who knew somebody who had been raped, 16% believed that the rape survivor had enjoyed the experience and had asked for it.
Around one third of rape victims are raped by a close relation
Statistics South Africa: Quantitative Research Findings on Rape (PDF; page 13).
South Africa is the rape capital in the world, with a woman eight times more likely to be raped than in the UK. It is also one of the world's most violent societies, with a murder rate 35 times higher than the UK
The South African Department of Justice estimate that one in four women suffer domestic violence
Source: 450.311 Domestic Violence: Submission to the South African Law Commission in the Light of International and Constitutional Human Rights Jurisprudence Part 1, May 1997.
Around 200,000 children a year are raped in South Africa
At least 500,000 rapes per annum (see above) and, according to UNICEF, '40% of reported rapes were committed against children during 2004/05'. This produces a figure of 200,000 child rapes per annum.
Of the cases of sexual abuse Port Elizabeth Childline dealt with in 2009, over 80% involved children under 14
Port Elizabeth Childline 92nd Annual Report 2009: Child Abuse / Neglect Cases by Age:
0-2 yrs: 20 sexually abused
3-6 yrs: 140 sexually abused
7-13yrs 264 sexually abused
14-18 yrs: 91 sexually abused
Total: 82.33% under 14
Less than 1% of rapes end in a successful prosecution
Sexual violence as such is the fastest growing crime in the world and the one that is least likely to result in conviction. In New York, crime dropped by about 10% in 2002, except for rape, which increased by 5,6%. In Britain just over 5% of rape cases are effectively prosecuted, while in South Africa the figure is 1% – Rape In Contemporary South Africa: More Vexing And Vicious Than Ever; Pieter Coetzer
However, according to a report by Nonhlanhla Sibanda of People Opposing Women's Abuse on Women's Experiences of the Criminal Justice System, 'less than one in nine cases of rape are reported and only 7% of these cases result in a conviction'. This yields a conviction rate of just 0.77%
A Medical Research Council survey in 2009 found that in South Africa one in four men say they have raped at least once, with half of those admitting to multiple attacks
Medical Research Council Survey 2009: researchers interviewed 1,738 men of all race groups, in both urban and rural settings in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, provinces marked by high rates of AIDS and poverty, and the men answered questions about rape and HIV using small handheld computers in order to guarantee anonymity. Rape of a woman or girl had been perpetrated by 27.6% of the men interviewed, and 46% of those said that they had raped more than once.
Around 40% of rape victims in South Africa are children
In Port Elizabeth, the country's fifth largest city, it's estimated that around a dozen children are raped every day. 'Approximately 40% of reported rape cases are rape of children under the age of 18 years.' See page 2 of http://www.statssa.gov.za/publications/Rape/Rape.pdf
A survey of over a quarter of a million schoolchildren found that 62% of South African schoolboys believe forcing sex on someone is not an act of violence, and one third of male learners believe girls enjoy rape.