Sexual violence in South Africa: ‘I was raped, now I fear for my daughters’

Sarah MidgleyImage copyrightSarah Midgley

South Africans have been outraged by a spate of gruesome rapes and murders of women in recent weeks – including that of a schoolgirl who reportedly had her head staved in, and a university student who was bludgeoned to death.

The rapes and murders have led to street protests, the #AmINext campaign on Twitter, and an online petition signed by more than 500,000 to demand the reinstatement of the death penalty in a nation battling to curb high levels of crime.

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has promised a series of measures to tackle the crisis – including making public a register of offenders, increasing the number of “dedicated sexual offences courts”, and harsher sentences.

Photographer Sarah Midgley, a 37-year-old mother of two who lives in the main city Johannesburg, is still recovering from the trauma of being raped almost a decade ago.

She told BBC Africa Women’s Affairs reporter Esther Akello Ogola about her ordeal.