Time For Real Talk — Are Women In South Africa Safe?

Frightened when walking alone? We all are.


Ondela Mlandu |

A dark cloud looms over South Africa, with the rate of women being abused, trafficked and murdered on a daily basis. Women are enraged and scared.

How do we protect ourselves from the predators who walk among us? South Africa has an alarming rate of women and young girls who are abducted and left for dead. Many voices being silenced, leaving loved ones in so much pain. Social media has been responsible for steering many interventions, but without the assistance of the government, our country can only do so much. We can carry pepper spray, taser guns and attend self-defence classes, but we hope we never have to use them.

Women’s Health spoke to Katie Modrau, from global non-profit organisation A21. A21 has 14 offices in 12 countries around the world. The organisation offers a 24/7 human trafficking hotline that focuses on eradicating human trafficking through awareness, intervention and aftercare around the world. Here is how you can take action to fight the injustices women face on a daily basis.

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Fight the good fight, for women

South Africa has one of the highest rates of violence against women in the world. A woman is murdered every four hours in this country. Every case of a woman being abused, raped or murdered is too many. Katie says we have to be wise in the times we live in. We can have panic buttons, but it’s important to ask ourselves, what value do we place on humanity? A woman walking on the street is not a call for her to be harmed.

Back to basics

Even the most cautious person can be abducted. Always inform loved ones about your whereabouts. “Our phones can be a major distraction when we are in public spaces. Displaying valuables such as our phones often leads to petty crimes that can easily escalate to something more,” says Katie. It’s also easy to miss that we’re alone in the street or that someone is following us when we’re glued to our phones.

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Helpful S.O.S apps for women

Safety and Women

These applications are designed to inform authorities or emergency response systems in case of emergency.

  1. TrackBox
  2. MySOS SA 
  3. Namola

Local campaigns

A21 recently launched a public awareness campaign called the Can You See Me Campaign, which has already been launched in four different countries. The visuals and graphics depict the reality of the stories that take place in our country.

What does standing up for injustice look like?

Sign this petition if you would like to declare gender-based violence as a state of emergency in South Africa. Our safety and the future generation of women to come is in our hands.

READ MORE ON: Life Life Advice Real Women Self-Defence