Statistics show that a South African born woman is more likely to be raped than to learn how to read. I’ve had a few conversations with girls in our youth ministry who have been confronted with the very real issue of rape. One mother told her daughter, who comes to youth, that rape is ‘just part of growing up.’ But the truth is that rape is NOT okay or acceptable in any way.
So we decided that we had to do something to take a stand and not stay silent about this issue.
W.A.R. stands for ‘Woman Against Rape’, and although this is a Sisterhood cause, we still need everyone – including all the men – to rally around and support it. W.A.R. is a way to help us raise awareness of rape, educate people about it and prevent it from happening.
We launched W.A.R. at our ENCOUNTER Youth Conference on 13 July. Something significant took place in that session. We spoke about the reality of rape and encouraged everyone to take a stand against it – rape is NOT okay! We also gave everyone whistles because a whistle can be blown to draw attention if you’re attacked, but it also represents sounding the alarm and drawing attention to the very real problem of rape. Everyone blew their whistles as loud as they could while we sang, ‘There is power in the name of Jesus … that breaks EVERY chain!’ Something broke that day. We had some of our mighty men get up and pray as well. This generation is not going to passively accept the statistics.
We are excited for the days ahead as W.A.R. unfolds. In the future we would love to go into high schools and do education programmes there, as well as develop a strong support system for people who have suffered sexual abuse. The future is bright! We won’t stay silent!
So watch this space!
(Hillsong Sisterhood Cape Town)