JOHANNESBURG – A teenager's cruel death three years ago has become a symbol of gender violence and South Africa's continued struggle to curb sexual violence.
In February 2013, Anene Booysen was gang-raped and left for dead in Bredasdorp in the Western Cape province. Her death sparked outrage and a debate on the underlying causes of gender violence.
Local police station commander Lt.-Col. Maree Louw said little has changed in the town where poverty and substance abuse are common among young people. She said civic projects have made little difference as she has seen an increase in sexual and domestic violence.
South Africa has enacted strict laws to prosecute sexual violence and launched nationwide public education campaigns, but as in Bredasdorp, rape and sexual assault statistics remain high.