Izwi Lami Survival Voices

Health-e’s anti-rape campaign invites rape survivors to share their stories and contact counselling services.The stories below are words of encouragement and also words of vulnerability. It is a place for survivors to share their stories without fear, and to break the silence around the normalisation of rape in South Africa today.

Rape is a thief. I was raped when I was a virgin at 20. I do not enjoy sex at all. My boyfriend doesn’t know. He will think it is him but it’s me.
– Female, 28, Gauteng
I was raped when I was young. I never talk about it. It has impacted my sex life. When I am having sex I sometimes remember the rape. I don’t enjoy sex with my girlfriend, so many times I break up with someone because I lack confidence during sex. I just can’t cope with my past.
– Male, raped in 1999, aged 11, in his home in Limpopo
It took 30 years to find my voice. It’s never too late to speak out because there is always someone out there who listens and cares.
– Female, 44, Gauteng.
Kunzima, kodwa Kuyaphileka. (It is hard but we are surviving)
– Female, 32, KZN, survivor of rape.
Get help. Call a friend, family, Rape Crisis, Lifeline. Break the silence. Even if it is with help! You are never alone. There is victim support at SAPS … including medical support. Then your healing will begin with Rape Crisis.
– Female, 43, Western Cape.
It is depressing to know I lost my virginity without my consent.
– Female, 40, Northern Cape. Raped when she was 13 years old.
It is painful but with time it gets better.
– Female, 27, survived a rape in Shoshanguve in 2011.

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