Left Menu
Development News Edition

INTERVIEW-Dressed in colours of her rapist, South African walks 700km to raise funds, inspire women

Reuters | Updated: 12-10-2019 13:45 IST | Created: 12-10-2019 13:42 IST
INTERVIEW-Dressed in colours of her rapist, South African walks 700km to raise funds, inspire women
Image Credit: Wikipedia

Hiking through fields and along dirt roads, a South African rape survivor finished a more than 700-kilometre walk on Saturday across a country known for violence against women.

Leilani Kuter walked 27 kilometres for 27 days to mark 27 years since she survived a brutal rape, raising money along the way for survivors of sexual assault and encouraging women "not to give up on themselves". "This walk has forced me to release my emotions and speak out so others feel brave enough to do so too," said the 45-year-old.

After being violently raped in 1992 and left for dead, Kuter went on to start a successful marketing agency and a dating site. It took her ten years to share her trauma with others. "I numbed my pain for so many years," Kuter told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.

Women in South Africa, a nation with a history of violence and profound inequality, have endured a spate of rapes, kidnappings and murders in recent years. Around 3,000 women were murdered in 2018 - around one every three hours - which is more than five times higher than the global average, according to the World Health Organization.

Kuter's walk aimed to show that "everyone deserves to be safe" in a country where only three in 10 women feel comfortable walking at night according to the 2017 Women, Peace and Security Index. Kuter crossed five South African provinces and was joined along the way by students, survivors of sexual assault and parents of children killed in violent crimes.

"I feel exhausted but happy. There is not one emotion I have not experienced," she said. While walking across the country she dressed in yellow, the colour of the clothes worn by the man who raped her.

"It is actually such a happy colour," she said. "We cannot give rapists control over our lives. The rape will always be a part of me, but I make a decision every day to not let it define me," Kuter said.

Kuter said she raised around 200,000 rands ($13,000) for counselling and emergency comfort packs for rape survivors. After mass protests against gender-based violence last month, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced plans to tackle the violence by strengthening the criminal justice system and training counsellors. "We need to listen to girls and women when they speak out. We need to believe them," said Kuter.



Uganda COVID-19 response: Was off to a good start but reopening dwindled prospects

Uganda has shown success in using health information to enhance efficiency of disease surveillance, reporting and monitoring. The success, however, has critical challenges confronting it as the country resumes normal activities....

New farm bills in India: Focusing on farms or farmers?

... ...

Kenya’s COVID-19 response: Chaos amid lack of information

Confusing numbers and scanty information on how effective curfews and lockdowns have been in breaking transmission have amplified coordination and planning challenges in Kenyas response to COVID-19. Without accurate data, it is impossible t...

Farkhad Akhmedov: Calculating the price of impunity from the law

In insistences such as the battle over the Luna, Akhmedov has resorted to extreme legal machinations to subvert the High Courts decision and keep his assets from being seized. ...


Latest News

Novel face mask with anti-viral layer can deactivate novel coronavirus

Scientists have designed a new face mask with an anti-viral layer to deactivate the novel coronavirus, that can make the wearer less infectious. The idea is to modify mask fabrics with anti-viral chemicals that can sanitise exhaled, escaped...

Ondo governor announces to resume all public and private schools from November 2

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has directed that all public and private schools in the state should resume from November 2, according to a news report by Today.Schools in the state were closed on Monday 26th October 2020 following ...

Telangana EV Policy: First two lakh e-2 wheelers exempted from

road tax, registration fee Hyderabad, Oct 30 PTI The Telangana government, as part of its new policy to promote electric vehicles, offers 100 per cent exemption of road tax and registration fee for the first two lakh electric two-wheelers ...

India-US bond will send a strong message to 'adversaries' like China, Russia: US Senator

An influential Republican Senator has praised the Trump administrations efforts to strengthen strategic ties with India during the recently concluded 22 ministerial dialogue, saying that bolstering the bond between the two countries will se...

Give Feedback