Don’t look away, act against abuse: 25 November – 10 December

The 16 Days of NO Violence against Women and Children (25 November – 10 December) is a time to make people aware of the negative impact of violence on women and children and to act against abuse. This is especially important in South Africa where according to the United Nations the incidence of sexual assault and rape, per capita, is the highest in the world.

Please join us for a DNA awareness workshop where you can learn more about the crucial role DNA evidence plays in getting rapists off the streets and protecting women and young children.


The Garden of Hope and Healing, Durban Botanic Gardens

4 December 2012 between 10 am and 12pm

Dr. Carolyn Hancock from the DNA Project
Representatives from the Forensic Science Laboratory
Jack Haskins with KZN’s very own “DNA dog”

Please join us and forward this invitation to anyone you think may be interested in attending.

International studies clearly illustrate that there is no better way of getting rapists off the street, at protecting women and young girls, than DNA and the use of a DNA criminal intelligence database. Whilst South Africa awaits the promulgation of crucial legislation which will give police the ability to immediately start taking sexual offenders off our streets, the worst sexual violence statistics in the world continue to accumulate — except these are not statistics — they are terrified women and children facing horrific acts of violence — many of them too young or uneducated to take the appropriate action to ensure the rapists are held accountable for their actions.

According to the United Nations, South Africa ranks first in the world, per capita, for sexual assault and rape — the number of reported rapes is around 200 every day. As many incidences of rape are never reported or investigated, statistics suggest that a woman or child is raped every 18 seconds in South Africa. An equally frightening fact is that 90% of rapists re-offend and may assault more than 30 women and children before finally being held accountable for their actions.


If you have been raped it is important to get to a health care facility as quickly as possible to:

  • Obtain medical care, treatment and advice
  • Collect evidence to support your legal case

To assist in the collection of DNA evidence, victims of sexual assault should:

  • NOT change their clothing
  • NOT shower or wash any part of their body
  • Report the incident to the police
  • Go to a medical doctor within 48 hours for DNA evidence to be collected


Blood, saliva, semen, tissue under the victim’s fingernails or hair that can be found on the victim’s body all carry the unique tell-tale DNA of the rapist.

If someone has had non-consensual sexual or other contact with you, e.g., ejaculates, bites, licks or kisses you, DNA may be left behind. If evidence of someone else’s DNA is found on or in your body it proves they have had contact with you.

Reporting cases of sexual assault and preserving DNA evidence could help put the rapist behind bars and prevent further attacks.

Click here to download the “What you should do if you are a rape survivor” (PDF)

  • Support the campaign by wearing the white ribbon during the 16-day period: A white ribbon is a symbol of peace and symbolises the commitment of the wearer to never commit or condone violence against women and children.
  • Participate in the various 16 Days of Activism events and activities.
  • Volunteer in support of NGOs and community groups who support abused women and children: Many organisations need assistance from the public. You can volunteer your time and make a contribution to the work of institutions. Donate a handbag to the Handbag Project to give to victims of rape, help plant a garden at a shelter, sponsor plastic tables and chairs for kids at a clinic or join an organisation as a counsellor. Use your skills and knowledge to help the victims of abuse.
  • Donations: You can donate money to organisations working to end violence against women and children.
  • Speak out against woman and child abuse. Encourage silent female victims to talk about abuse and ensure that they get help. Report child abuse to the police. Encourage children to report bully behaviour to school authorities. Men and boys are encouraged to talk about abuse and actively discourage abusive behaviour.
  • Join community policing forums (CPFs). The community and the local police stations are active partners in ensuring local safety and security. The goal is to bring about effective crime prevention by launching intelligence-driven crime-prevention projects in partnership with the local community. You may want to also become a  reservist, a member of the community who volunteers his/her services and time to support local policing efforts to fight crime. For  more information on how to join, contact your local police station.
  • Seek help if you are emotionally, physically or sexually abusive to your partner and/or children. Call the Stop Gender Based Violence helpline (0800 150 150).
  • Talk to friends, relatives and colleagues to take a stand against abuse of women and children.
  • Try and understand how your own attitudes and actions might perpetuate sexism and violence.

Where to get help

Counselling and support for women

  • National Crisis Helpline (Lifeline) 0861 322 322
  • Stop Gender-Based Violence Helpline 0800 150 150
  • People Opposed to Women Abuse 011 642 4345
  • Family and Marriage Society of South Africa 012 460 0733
  • National Network on Violence Against Women 012 321 4959

Counselling and support for children

  • Childline 0800 055 555

Social Security

  • Child support grants 0800 601 011


  • Marie Stopes clinics 0800 11 77 85
  • Depression and Anxiety Group 011 783 1474
  • AIDS Helpline 0800 012 322
  • AID for AIDS 0860 100 646

Legal assistance

  • Legal Aid Board 011 845 4311
  • Lawyers for Human Rights 011 339 1960

Campaigns for men who support no violence

  • Men as Partners Project 011 833 0504

16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children

16 days of activism drum logo

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