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Civil Society Pushes Improved Implementation of the Sexual Offences Act

By Emily Kheen

Kuyasa branch members protest outside the magistrate's court in Khayelitsha.

The Sonke Gender Justice Network has always believed strongly in the importance of civil society advocacy initiatives, and after extensive internal discussions we have decided to focus our advocacy efforts on supporting the Shukumisa Campaign to improve implementation of the Sexual Offences Act.

This decision was based on our awareness of the difficulties of obtaining justice for sexual offences in South Africa, despite the progressive legislation.

Our local advocacy work has often included supporting community members who have been raped or assaulted; accompanying them to court, engaging with local police and prosecutors to try and ensure that the cases are investigated and prosecuted rigorously and helping to mobilize the local community.

Fairly recently, our pilot One Man Can Branch in Khayelitsha supported one of its own members through a rape trial. Despite the ongoing efforts of Sonke and the community, the case was ultimately dismissed. This frustrating experience highlighted for us the importance of advocating for improved implementation across the board and it is with this in mind that we are proudly supporting Shukumisa.

Read the full article on the Sonke Gender Justice Network’s website

The Sonke Gender Justice Network is a Shukumisa partner.

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  • The Shukumisa Campaign

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    About Us

    Welcome to the Shukumisa website, an online resource for

    • rape survivors and their families
    • concerned citizens
    • community activists

    The word Shukumisa means to shake or stir things up

    The Shukumisa Campaign was created in 2008 and aims to stir and shake up public and political will to develop and implement policies related to sexual offences

    Imagine a South Africa where:

    • Everyone treats rape as a serious crime
    • Quality Health, Policing and Legal services are available to all rape survivors, everywhere
    • All women are free to move around as they please, dressed as they please
    • Rape victims aren’t stereotyped in our media
    • We are all included in the development of laws that affect our lives and our communities.

    You can join us by:

    • Adding your voice to our Facebook discussions
    • Supporting our activities, or suggesting them
    • Writing to the media and Government to complain when the law fails rape survivors
    • Getting involved with organisations linked to the Shukumisa Campaign

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