Change the Story: Migrants Against GBV

Hitting the airwaves just in time for 16 Days of Activism 2013, this 3-part series of short radio dramas highlights  factors that make refugees and migrant communities vulnerable to sexual violence as well as challenges for accessing care and treatment services.

While all women and girls face challenges reporting any kind of violence, refugees and migrants face added barriers of language, lack of knowledge of local systems and rights, not knowing where to go, few support systems, and at times xenophobic responses.

One of the key responses of the South African government to sexual violence has been the establishment of Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCCs) under the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. The TCCs are an innovative one-stop shop offering comprehensive sexual assault service. To help promote awareness, encourage dialogue, and urge care seeking among migrants and refugees, for Sonke Gender Justice, CMFD worked with 20 refugees, migrants, and South Africans to develop 3 mini-dramas and related discussion guides, to be used on radio stations. The dramas were all written collaboratively, and voiced by the participants

Click to listen to the mini dramas

Leaving Home: Facing Sexual Harassment

I have the right: Reporting a Case

Dangerous Borders: Vulnerable in Transit

Click to download Talking Points:

Leaving Home: Facing Sexual Harassment

I have the right: Reporting a Case

Dangerous Borders: Vulnerable in Transit

Change the Story - Press Release


1. Leaving Home: Facing Sexual Harassment

There’s not jobs and no food in the cupboards, so Chipo leaves home, leaving the brothers and sisters she cares for behind, to travel to a neighbouring country so that she can make enough money to send home. However, things turn sour for her when her boss starts taking advantage of her. With no friends or family, not knowing the country and difficulty speaking the language, she remains quiet about the ongoing rape and violence. She ends up getting help from a neighbour who has information about a nearby TCC.

2. I have the right: Reporting a Case

After being assaulted by her husband, Lerato turns to her local police station for help. The first police officer she encounters, Officer Katlego, isn’t very helpful at all, but a second, Officer Malumane, passes by while she is recounting the story and takes the issue seriously. When Ellen, who is not from South Africa, is physically and sexually assaulted by her husband, she also turns to the police for help. Officer Katlego is not only again unhelpful, but also xenophobic, threatening Ellen with arrest. Scared, she flees, and meets her friends Lerato on the way out, helps her to contact the people in the station who will assist her. Although they both receive help in their situations, Ellen’s journey is longer and more difficult.Sonke

3. Dangerous Borders: Vulnerable in Transit

Lisa is a 23-year old young woman living with her paternal uncle, he’s taken care of her since the day her parents were killed in the violence that has caused havoc in her country. Once kind and caring, over the years the uncle has become very abusive, treats her badly, and has begun to make sexual advances. One day after an altercation, tired and beaten, she flees to try to find a new life in South Africa. Along the way she is sexually assaulted by a taxi driver. She is lucky to find help from someone at home once she reaches her destination, but the psychological trauma remains long after her bruises have healed.

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