Rape Warning Signs

Who rapes in South Africa?

By far the majority of rapists are men. Men who rape come from all different backgrounds. Research has found that men who rape share some common experiences, beliefs and behaviours.

Common experiences include:

  • Not having a caring, positive father figure
  • Leaving school at an early age
  • Experience of violence at home or in the community
  • Poor communication at home
  • Witnessing or experiencing  sexual abuse
  • Experience of being bullied
  • Alcohol and drug abuse

Three quarters of men who rape  do it for the first time before they are 20 years old, and most rape more than once.

Men who rape have negative beliefs about women, about relationships and about sex. Some common beliefs:

  • They believe that their sexual partners do not have the right to say no to sex.
  • They believe that they are entitled to sex whenever they feel aroused.
  • They believe that women are inferior to men.
  • They believe that they if they buy women drinks or gifts that she owes them sex.
  • They believe that they can tell a partner what clothes to wear and control where their partners should go and which friends she sees.

Most men who rape also often have negative beliefs about themselves:

  • They find it hard to communicate with women and have intimate relationships
  • They feel depressed
  • They feel isolated
  • They feel emotionally abandoned
  • They can't control their anger
  • They feel like they don't measure up to what is expected of them
  • They feel frustrated because of unemployment or poverty

Are you at risk of raping someone, or have you ever raped someone? If you say yes to any of the questions below you can benefit from supportive counselling:

  • I have had repeated thoughts about forcing someone to have sex.
  • I have had sex with a drunk person.
  • I have forced someone to have sex with me.
  • I have ignored someone asking me to stop going through with a sexual act.
  • I had an erection and had to have sex, no matter what.
  • I know it's wrong, but I can't stop myself.
  • I believe that when she said no, she meant yes.
  • I was angry with a woman and forced her to have sex as punishment or revenge.
  • She ate all my food, spent my money - she owed me sex, so I took what she owed me.
  • She was a prostitute anyway.
  • I had waited long enough for her to agree so I forced her.
  • She was dressed like she wanted sex.
  • I have made phone calls where I talk dirty to someone who didn't want to participate.

Dial the free helpline 0800 428 428 and find help immediately.

If you have ever raped or abused women:

  • You can be helped if you want to be helped.
  • The shame of the rape dies if you accept the wrong you have done and the hurt you have caused.
  • This gives you an opportunity to heal and stop raping.

If you have raped and taken full responsibility for your actions through the legal system, you can play an active role in addressing rape by making a difference, through sharing your journey and speaking out against rape, especially to other men.

About Us

Brothers for Life promote positive male norms and encourage the uptake of health services such as Medical Male Circumcision (MMC), Men taking up HIV Testing, Consistent condom use by Men and reduction of sexual partners. The campaign mobilises men to actively engage in activities to address Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in their communities.

Our Manifesto

Brothers who stand for responsible relationships
Brothers who stand for responsible parenting
Brothers who stand for responsible behaviour
Brothers who live positively
Brothers who do the right thing
Brothers who stand for life