South Africa: 25% of Women in Mining Areas are Raped – MSF

One out of four women living in South Africa’s platinum belt have suffered from rape, a report released on Tuesday by Doctors without Borders (MSF) said.

According to its survey of more than 800 women aged 18-49 in Rustenburg municipality, north-west of Johannesburg, MSF said only 5% of the approximately 11,000 women and girls raped each year report the incident to a health worker.

“What we found from this survey is one in four women has been raped in Rustenburg. What really struck us was the frequency, you can say that about 11,000 women are trafficked each year,” Garret Barnwell of MSF told AFP news agency.

“For many women, sexual violence has become part of their daily lives. The violence is routine,” Rosina Palai, a health worker quoted in the report said.

The report also shows that only 5% of women who have suffered rape received healthcare.

“Those who have survived sexual violence face many other obstacles to heal – getting back to the community is important and there are few opportunities to access well-equipped and specialized care services for sexual violence,” the report said.

South Africa has one of the highest incidences of rape in the world and a low prosecution rate.

The MSF research also suggested that a very low number of these women were aware of how to prevent HIV transmission and even pregnancy.

An estimated 6.2 million South Africans live with HIV