Male Rape in South African Prisons

Survivor Stories
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When trying to refuse, he will learn, there is no way out. Thousands of young men are recruited in this manner throughout prisons in South Africa and suffer great sexual harm during their sentenced imprisonment. Once released into society they still bear the damages of being rape victims. Consensual sex for pure pleasure between men as equals, is not accepted by the gangs. Department of Correctional Services, Overcrowding is an issue faced by all the prisons in South Africa.

Gear has also found denial of sexual abuse within the system. This unhelpful attitude does little to discourage inmates from committing rape.

The all-powerful gang culture has control of the entire prison culture. Gear, Parker Lewis, There is no fear of authority, and corruption, as explained above, allows gangs to remain untouched by sanctions to curtail their behavior. Once an inmate is raped he is considered the property of his rapist and is thus vulnerable to more rape for the duration if his stay in that prison. More often than not, the rape will be accompanied by violence if the victim resists strongly, and faces the threat of physical assault including being murdered.

Feature: Scourge of male rape in SA prisons – Just Detention International

Further, South African prison conditions represent serious breaches of rights enshrined in the South African Constitution. The only right that inmates should be deprived of is liberty.

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Research has shown that sexual violence is pervasive in South African prisons, yet also massively underreported 4. With overcrowding, poor sanitation, poor nutrition, inadequate medical care, and a culture of toxic masculinity, South African prisons are environments conducive to both the transmission of HIV as well as its rapid progression to illness and even death. Owing to severe overcrowding in South African prisons, it is difficult to separate predatory detainees from sexually vulnerable detainees, making it harder to prevent sexual violence in prisons. This is exacerbated by staff shortages and inadequate shift systems; which leave inmates unmonitored for hours at a time, locked up for longer periods of time, and limits their access to development and rehabilitative programmes, health-care, and psychosocial support services 5.

These notions also contribute to the continued perpetration of sexual violence in the general population, upon release. Men who are admitted to prison for crimes other than sexual offences, may become both traumatised and desensitised to sexual violence in prison as a result of experiencing or witnessing sexual assault.

In turn, these men may become perpetrators of rape or sexual violence 7. Some strategies include:. Further, it is essential that additional education and training be conducted with those who are responsible for enforcing duties and responsibilities in relation to these rights. Consequently, an important intervention with regards to prison issues is awareness-raising and education programmes. Similarly, The South African demographic and health survey of gave results of rape prevalence at 4.

In , the region of Gauteng accounted for the largest percentage of prisoners in custody for sexual offences with The province with the least percentage of prisoners convicted of sexual offences was Northern Cape with 3. The South African Crime Survey [11] highlights the regional differences of citizens' perceptions and fears. Surveying what type of crime respondents thought occurred most in their area of residence, While the Northern Cape had the largest percentage of respondents who believed rape to be most prevalent, the province of KwaZulu-Natal had the least with 1.

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Averaging all provinces, rape ranked 7th in the crime that respondents thought was most prevalent, after housebreaking , property theft , robbery , murder , livestock theft, and assault. This survey also investigated what type of crime respondents feared most in their area. Rape ranked third in this category after only murder and housebreaking.

On the other side of the spectrum, By September , South African President Cyril Ramaphosa acknowledged that sexual violence against women had grown in South Africa, [12] [13] The nation's "Mother City" Cape Town has seen an extended use of military deployment to combat sexual violence against women as well.

The South African government reports that one of these reasons is the culture of patriarchy in South Africa.

The rape of men: the darkest secret of war

Its report states that patriarchy is firmly rooted in Black culture and fighting it is seen as attempting to destroy South African tradition or South African ideals. South Africa has some of the highest incidences of child and infant rape in the world. The largest increase in attacks was against children under seven. A trade union report said a child was being raped in South Africa every three minutes. A third of the cases are committed by a family member or close relative. A number of high-profile infant rapes appeared since including the fact that they required extensive reconstructive surgery to rebuild urinary, genital, abdominal, or tracheal systems.

In October , a 9-month-old girl named Tshepang was raped by an HIV-positive man and had to undergo extensive reconstructive surgery in Cape Town. One has been charged. The infant has required extensive reconstructive surgery. The 8-month-old infant's injuries were so extensive, increased attention on prosecution has occurred. A significant contributing factor for the escalation in child abuse is the widespread myth in HIV ravaged South Africa that having sex with a virgin will cure a man of AIDS.

Lesbians in certain parts of South Africa also face a dangerous environment. Raping lesbians a practice referred to as corrective rape is believed to convert them to heterosexuality. Corrective rape is also perpetrated against gay men. Stigmatization of male victims was said to be the cause of low reporting rates for corrective gay rape. About 3.

How I was raped in prison

Another group's survey estimates that one in five adult males become victims of sexual offences, and this figure could be much higher as a male is 10 times less likely to report a sexual violation than a woman. Sexual violence in prisons is linked to gang violence and its power structures, and inmates who are sexually abused are targets for repeated abuse, and usually are victimized again and again. Survivors of prison rape have told that officials in the country are of the opinion that "[males should] expect this treatment in prison".

The Medical Research Council states, "Many forms of sexual violence, particularly sexual harassment and forms of sexual coercion that do not involve physical force are widely viewed as normal male behaviour. In a related survey conducted among 1, school children in the Johannesburg township of Soweto , a quarter of all the boys interviewed said that 'jackrolling', a term for gang rape , was fun. Men from ages 20—40 are more likely to have raped younger or older men.

Another issue with sexual violence against minors in South Africa is the sexual abuse and harassment that is reported to occur in schools by teachers and other students.

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According to the Human Rights Watch , [50] girls from all levels of society and ethnic groups have been subjected to sexual violence at school in bathrooms, empty classrooms, dormitories, and more. Police, prosecutors, and social workers have also complained that many incidents of sexual violence in schools are not reported to them because schools often prefer to deal with it internally, thus hindering justice against the perpetrators. The danger of sexual violence in schools has created a barrier for girls to seek education.

The government of the Republic of South Africa is cognizant of this problem.


The Bill of Rights in the Constitution of South Africa sets to ensure rights of all of the people in South Africa with the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom. It reported about how the Truth and Reconciliation Commission offered a platform for the voices of victims of violence and sexual violence during the Apartheid. It also reported details on the Judicial Authority of South Africa, where the lower courts are responsible for important issues such as sexual assault and family violence. The comprehensive act looks to review and amend all laws dealing with sexual offences and strengthening them.

The preamble of the amendment calls to scrutinize the problem in South Africa, noting that the problem "is reflective of deep-seated, systemic dysfunctionality in our society". It also adds measures in the matters of sexual offences against children including consensual sexual acts , sexual exploitation, exposure to pornography, forced witness of sexual acts, and sexual offences against mentally disabled.

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Male Rape in South African Prisons - Shuhaida Adam - Essay - Sociology - Law, Delinquency, Abnormal Behavior - Publish your bachelor's or master's thesis. prevalence rates of male rape in prison, as sexual assault and rape are authors explore the meaning of sex and rape in the South African prison subculture.

Furthermore, the amendment provides services for victims of sexual offences and compulsory HIV testing of alleged sex offenders and creates a national registry for sex offenders. Any person "A" who unlawfully and intentionally commits an act of sexual penetration with a complainant "B" , without the consent of B, is guilty of the offence of rape.

Marital rape is illegal; section 56 of the act provides that:.

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Mental illness is real Who has the right to fight for gender equality vs who should fight for gender equality? You can go to cart and save for later there. Following in Diana's footsteps: Prince Harry walks a Through support groups, the prison teams hope to create spaces for peer educators who worked with Sonke inside prisons to help one another after release. Abstract This article explores sexual violence in male prisons in South Africa. Make a Submission.

Whenever an accused person is charged with an offence under section 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 it is not a valid defence for that accused person to contend that a marital or other relationship exists or existed between him or her and the complainant. With regard to sentencing, S.