Vincent was raped by two gang members in an overcrowded cell in a Western Cape remand detention facility. This was his very first sexual experience. Vincent asked for help from nurses, wardens, priests, social workers, and even a magistrate who all rejected him and told him to expect this treatment in prison. He only received medical attention three years after he was raped when he was sentenced, and learned he was HIV-positive. Vincent calls on the Department of Correctional Services to stop this from happening to others, and encourages survivors to speak up. Vincent feels stronger than before, and says “I know I have a purpose in this life”.
These stories were produced by Sonke Gender Justice, Just Detention International – SA, and NICRO, with funding from the Open Society Foundation for South Africa, the MAC AIDS Fund of the Tides Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. Thanks to Community Media for Development and Digital Storytelling South Africa for creating and editing the stories. Most of all, thank you to these courageous survivors.
*Not their real names
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.
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.