Filed under SEX AND SEXUALITY

I’m bummed

I’m bummed

Chuma Xundu speaks about the association of women with their body parts, and the disassociation between women’s minds and their body. She looks at the recent #BoityReaction saga, and how often the point that women are making is lost in discussions about their bodies Continue reading

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Under-funding rape and domestic violence services: Neglecting women’s well-being, neglecting women’s work?

Under-funding rape and domestic violence services: Neglecting women’s well-being, neglecting women’s work?

Domestic violence is the most common form of violence experienced by South African women and causes the greatest number of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) cases in women, according to the South African Stress and Health Survey conducted by the University of Cape Town and Johns Hopkins University. The same study found that rape, another crime overwhelmingly experienced by women and girls, was the form of violence most likely to result in PTSD, in addition to causing the most severe and long-term forms of PTSD.[1] But this is not all: depression, anxiety, suicidality, substance abuse, repeated victimisation, disability, HIV-infection and chronic physical health problems may also arise following an experience of rape or domestic violence. Good services to victims and their families are therefore crucial, both in ameliorating post-traumatic stress, as well as preventing some of these other health consequences from developing.

However, where these two crimes are concerned, no service is better than a bad service. A very substantial body of research shows that services do more harm than good when provided by people who have not been adequately trained to respond to rape and domestic violence, who also hold victim-blaming beliefs and do not receive debriefing and supervision. In other words, some degree of specialisation is required to provide quality services. Yet, in the context of funding cuts which began in 2010 and shifts in Department of Social Development (DSD) policy around funding to non-governmental organisations (NGO), it seems that fewer services of deteriorating quality are precisely what is being provided to survivors of rape and domestic violence. Continue reading

The Fear

The Fear

Rumbi Gorgens talks about Lily Allen’s new music video, body modification, and the pressures on women to act out and perform a particular type of sexuality. Continue reading

Is black beautiful?

Is black beautiful?

Athambile Masola describes the representation of black women in magazines. “The lack of positive representations of black women in popular culture doesn’t mean black women are not beautiful, but we still have a long way to go in convincing the world, and particularly black women too, that black is beautiful.” Continue reading