More than 40 per cent of women in South Africa have been raped, but only one rape in ten is reported.

Nicole

“My abusers will win if I don’t make something of my life.”


Name:
Nicole
Age:
63


Nyota

“I lied about the rape because I thought my mother would beat me.”


Name:
Nyota
Age:
14

She stands up
during the conversation, she can’t keep her legs together and it hurts too much to sit down. Her mother, Nyabisepela, is furious and wants to tell us what happened. She wants the world to know what happened to her first-born daughter. Nyota also answers our questions. We interview them briefly before we take Nyota to hospital.  


Themba

“They called me a bloody lesbian and raped me.”  


Name:
Themba
Age:
29


Eszter

“I’ve stopped feeling ashamed for something I didn’t do.”


Name:
Eszter
Age: 22


Eva-Britt

“Ten years after the first blow I was elected to the European Parliament.”


Name:
Eva-Britt
Age: 64

We hadn’t argued or anything like that. I’d been down in the basement to collect the washing. Then it just exploded. After that it quickly got worse.  He called me a “bloody whore” and started watching my every move. I don’t really understand why he changed. I’d made my mind up to find out but I didn’t get the chance. He died a couple of years back, so I still don’t know.


Susana

“It feels strange to think of yourself as a victim.”


Name:
Susana
Age: 41

I only really wanted a sexual relationship. I’d been alone for three years and I had a good life. I didn’t want anything at all to do with men. But after our first night together he came back almost every day, even though we hadn’t arranged anything; and he was often drunk.


Luciana

“The police didn’t come, even though I rang several times.”


Name:
Luciana
Age:
44


Lucille

“He wanted my nine-year-old to be awake and to watch.”  


Name: Lucille
Age: 46

There was a man in our neighbourhood who was really popular with all the children. He used to invite them round, he played with them, and he let them play games on his computer. He had four computers in a small apartment. One day he invited me round too, to play Nintendo Wii. I thought it was fun, just like my girls, at least while I was conscious.


Gulnaz

“The man who threw the acid over me only spent six months in prison.”


Name:
Gulnaz
Age: 43


Phindi

“I just stood there, holding a pan of boiling water I was going to throw over him.”  


Name:
Phindi
Age:
42


Faranza

“I pray to Allah that no girl ever needs to be born in Pakistan.”


Name:
Faranza
Age:
63

I had six children altogether with my first husband, but only three survived.
We lived with his family, and it wasn’t really my husband who was the main problem, it was my brother-in-law.