A 24-year-old gender activist South African lady has called on victims of rape to speak out, as she recounts her ordeal in the hands of her dad.
Zizo Apleni decided to speak about her rape ordeal at the start of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.
16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls.The campaign runs every year from November 25 to December 10.
Zizo has written the book, My Father Took My Innocence, to detail how she was raped by her father between 2001 and 2013. She was seven when the first incident occurred.
In her words: “As I was young, I didn’t know what he was doing was wrong. I only found out what he was doing after our hostel manager taught us not to have sex with our boyfriends.
“When I got home, I told my father what our hostel manager told us. He started threatening me and said I should never report it, because no one would believe me.”
Zizo said her mum did not know about it until 2013, when she fell pregnant.
“I told her my father had been raping me for years. We reported it to the police and he was bust the same day.
“I was helped to abort the baby.
“In 2016, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison. My mum was very supportive.”
16 days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence was initiated in 1991 by the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute, held by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) at Rutgers University in United States.
Currently, more than 3,700 organizations from approximately 164 countries participate in the campaign annually.