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One in four women raped in South African mining areas, report

One in four women raped in South African mining areas, report

South Africa

A report released on Tuesday by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) says one in four women living in South Africa’s platinum belt have suffered from rape.

This was realised after a two-month survey of 800 women between the ages of 18 and 49 in Rustenburg, north-west of Johannesburg by the end of 2015.

“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 explained to AFP.

“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. This low percentage is explained partly by shame, also by the fact that women are struggling to trust the caregivers, Mr. Barnwell analysed.

“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.

Only half of the women surveyed knew that HIV infection can be prevented by a quick use of anti-HIV treatment just after the rape.

An estimated 6.2 million South Africans live with HIV, approximately 11.2% of the population.