Michelle Solomon

I’ve had enough of Bullard. And so should you

In 2008, proud racist David Bullard was fired from the Sunday Times for a column wherein he denigrated black South Africans. In seems that, after the failure of his many legal matters against the Sunday Times and its owning company Avusa, Bullard found a new hobby. And that hobby is harassing and bullying rape survivors – and I get the special honour of being his target of choice.

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Concourt ruling against ‘teen sex’ law protects rape survivors’ rights

Last week’s Constitutional Court ruling decriminalising consensual sexual relationships between teens was met with moralising outrage across the country. Sensationalist media fanned the flames of indignation by failing to contextualise the law’s effect on teen sexual relations – including rape.

Under the impugned sections 15 and 16 of the Sexual Offences Act (SOA) teenage rape survivors, especially girls, run the risk of being criminally charged for being raped.

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Secondary victimisation: Rape survivors denied emergency ARVs

The 2007 Sexual Offences Act (SOA) requires that certain services be made available to rape survivors. Among these services, survivors of oral, anal and vaginal rape are entitled to receive post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), a 28-day course of antiretrovirals for the prevention of HIV infection. This must be provided to survivors – at state expense – when…

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Reclaiming the term ‘rape survivor’

There are times when silence is more eloquent and expressive than shouts of protest, or words spoken in the face of ignorance. The Silent Protest seeks to embody this silence in solidarity with rape survivors who, for whatever reason, are not able to speak out about the violence exerted on them and their bodies. The…

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When journalists silence rape survivors

This week Rhodes University student newspaper Activate published a story titled “Club Etiquette”. The story explains best party practice along the lines of ‘don’t wear heels’ and ‘respect your bartender’. Then there was this: “Don’t take advantage of the drunken person of your dreams. The next morning, when they wake up next to you wondering…

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Our sexual expression is our choice

As the Slutwalk movement has spread internationally, it has increasingly come under fire from a broad range of communities. What started as a simple idea has been criticised for being exclusive, “white supremacist” and an insult to the victims and survivors of sexual assault. The movement started in Toronto after a law-enforcement officer told a…

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