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African Female

If it happens, then it was your fault

Facilitator: Yeah, cause like, in Africa, if it happens, then it was your fault. Most times in Africa, they tell you [the person] raped you because, "I told you not to wear that short skirt." Or because, "I told you not to go to that party, so that is why it happened to you."
Participant 1: Especially how we just - cause of how our parents are very strict, right? And then you end up just, like, going to a party without your parents knowing, and something happens to you. You can't say it. And you live with it for the rest of your life, right? And then nobody will ever know, because you weren't allowed to go there.
Participant 2: Right, so you were ashamed to actually talk about it.
Participant 1: Yeah, like, you weren't allowed to go out and meet your friends in the first place, so if it happened, it is definitely your fault. So you have that blaming mentality for the rest of your life. So, I feel like the advice [for service providers] would be: let the person know that it is not okay that it happened.


  • Ensure all sexual violence prevention and response education and training opportunities actively deconstruct victim-blaming, rape myths and gender norms. Ensure these sessions take an intersectional approach to understanding sexual violence and supporting victim/survivors.