Jules is an gender activist and HIV educator living in South Africa. She grapples with the fact that one of her most trusted male friends attempted to rape her several years ago, wondering if he viewed her as “an easy target” because she had told him about her childhood sexual abuse. Ultimately, she challenges him to acknowledge the seriousness of his actions and honours those who truly love and care for her.

Note: This story contains explicit content and is recommended for mature viewers age 14 and up.

Key points to consider in viewing Jules’ story

Many survivors of childhood sexual abuse struggle with whether or not to share what happened to them. When someone they’ve trusted with this information betrays them, a double sense of violation can be triggered: one layer for the betrayal now, and a second for the betrayal in childhood. Jules’ story illustrates this dilemma and reveals a young woman determined to place responsibility for abusive behavior where it belongs: on the perpetrator. Her decision to speak out publicly is a courageous act towards breaking the silence about rape.

Learn More

Sonke works with many communities to use storytelling and digital media to help people tell their own stories around gender, violence, HIV and AIDS and related issues.

Sonke partnered with Silence Speaks to enable young people and adults affected by violence and HIV and AIDS to share their stories. Other digital stories have been produced with former prisoners who experienced sexual violence in jail. And the MenEngage African Youth Alliance and Sonke partnered with UNFPA to produce “Youth Stories of Change” along with a discussion guide and other resources.

Through intensive, participatory video production workshops, Sonke is bringing rarely-heard voices and images into the civic arena. Our hope is that by highlighting everyday stories, we will deepen existing conversations about gender norms and health issues, as well as empower the storytellers and their communities.

Download Resources

Click here to download a facilitator’s guide, discussion guides and other Digital Stories resources to assist in the use of these tools in your community.