The chilling video is still so relevant today, as South Africa is gripped by protests.
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In the year 1999, a woman was raped in South Africa every 26 seconds.
Right now, South Africa is in the midst of nation-wide protests against gender-based violence — sparked by outrage over several high-profile cases of deaths of women in recent weeks.
Yet current talk about gender-based violence in the country often implies that it’s a new phenomenon — that there was once a time where women were safe from abuse.
This reemerged video of Hollywood actress Charlize Theron talking about rape and sexual assault in South Africa 20 years ago shows a different reality.
“People often ask me what South African men are like,” says Theron.
She continues to cite shocking statistics such as the fact that more women are raped in South Africa than anywhere else in the world, as well as the fact that one out of three women will be raped in their lifetime in South Africa.
Also adding that the rest of South African men don’t think that rape is their problem.
“It’s not that easy to say what the men in South Africa are like because there seem to be so few of them out there,” she remarked.
The video was reportedly created as part of a campaign called Real Men Don’t Rape, which featured South African-born Theron and aimed to highlight the scourge of rape and sexual violence in the country at the time.
But the commercial received backlash from an organisation called A Group of Concerned Men — who claimed the advert implied that all South African men are rapists.
It became a case for the country’s Advertising Standards Authority and, while the ASA disagreed with the group about the implication that all men are rapists, it ruled to ban the advert on the grounds that it was discriminatory on the basis of gender because it criticised men as a group.
However, the video has now re-emerged on social media — with activists highlighting the video as showing that not enough has changed in recent decades to better protect people from sexual violence.