The Law House at the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, recently launched a campaign addressing aspects of sexual abuse and violence against women, as a response to instances of rape and sexual abuse occurring on and around the University of Pretoria campus. The Centre for Human Rights, through its Advocacy Unit, has partnered with the Law House to execute the campaign.
The campaign includes a seminar on the theme: ‘Rape culture and sexual health’ which was held on 13 May 2019. The campaign also includes a photo exhibition to visually articulate women’s experiences with physical, sexual and emotional abuse.
As in society at large, sexual abuse and violence against women at the University of Pretoria persist, for many reasons, including the failure of adequately holding perpetrators accountable, the pattern of victim blaming, patriarchal attitudes, and widespread ignorance and apathy where some claim ‘it is not my business’.
Even though the Department of Student Affairs has embarked on some commendable reforms, there is certainly more that can be done. We, therefore, encourage the University of Pretoria to do everything possible in creating a safe learning environment that is free from the threat of sexual violence. Specific measures could include: addressing aspects of ‘residence culture’ that reinforce patriarchy and damaging concepts of masculinity; less cumbersome reporting procedures for sexual abuse cases; adequate support given to victims; and accountability for perpetrators while ensuring transparency throughout the entire process.
Below are the photographs from the campaign featuring students of the University of Pretoria.
All photographs were taken by Adebayo Okeowo who is the Coordinator of the Advocacy Unit at the Centre for Human Rights.
The photographs are on exhibition at the Faculty of Law as well as other spaces around the University campus.
For more information, please contact:
Project Coordinator: Advocacy Unit
Centre for Human Rights
University of Pretoria