Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian. Picture: Twitter
Cape Town - Revenge porn and slut shaming is a big contributor to the already shocking rape statistics in South Africa, say women’s rights advocacy groups.

The latest figures indicate that more than 40% of South African women will be raped in their lifetimes, and that only one in four rapes are reported. It is also estimated that 14% of perpetrators of rape are convicted in South Africa.

Revenge porn is when someone shares sexually explicit images or videos of another person without their consent, with the aim of causing them distress or harm.

The issue became a talking point this week when reality-television star Rob Kardashian posted nude pictures of his former fiancée and mother of his child, Blac Chyna, on Instagram. He accused her of infidelity.

Blac Chyna’s lawyer filed a temporary restraining order against him.

“Mr Kardashian, you are now on notice: revenge porn is illegal,” a press statement read. “Cyberbullying your ex is harassment.”

Sonke Gender Justice spokesperson Karen Robertson said slut shaming had become a norm in South Africa, with women subjected to it on a daily basis.

“This falls into the larger societal problem of rape culture, which is particularly evident in SA, where women are blamed for being sexually harassed, assaulted or raped based on the clothing they wore.

“It strips women of their autonomy and reduces them to mere objects to be sexualised - to do with as one pleases.”She said revenge porn was a relatively new concept, thanks to the extensive growth of the internet and social media, but it reinforces old, tired stereotypes.

These stereotypes include that women who engage in sexual behaviour are dirty, slutty, and that their sexual exploits can be used to condemn and publicly humiliate them.

How society generally views women was hugely proble­matic.

“It perpetuates rape culture, placing the blame on women and using their clothing as a... reason for rape, instead of focusing on the perpetrator and blaming them for their behaviour,” she said.

Robertson said because of patriarchy, which feeds rape culture, women tend to be the majority of victims.

“The gender norms and attitudes which are perpetuated through patriarchy are so entrenched that many believe it is okay to subject women, who are believed to be lesser beings, to this kind of behaviour.”

A social worker at the Violence Command Centre in Pretoria, Lolo Tabane, echoed Roberson’s sentiments, saying that no one had the right to abuse a woman.

The centre is an arm of the Department of Social Development and assists people who have suffered gender-based violence.

“We have a slogan - Don’t Look Away. We want to encourage everyone to practise that slogan,” said Tabane.

Websites and web administrators have a vital role to play in minimising the amount of pornography that can be uploaded on any given site as this further shames women, said Tabane.

Most of their calls are from women whose male partners have uploaded intimate pictures of them online after their relationships had ended.

“Society must not look on and do nothing while a woman is abused physically, emotionally or verbally.

"Women should be free to wear what they want and go where they want to, without fear."

Weekend Argus