Whether you are a man at risk of abusing or raping someone, a rape survivor, or community member wanting to prevent violence in your community, this page can offer you help and information.

There are many myths about rape which keep us trapped in abusive and violent behaviour – check out the facts here. If you think you are a man at risk of abusing or raping women the first step to change is identifying the warning signs. If you want to know more about how you can prevent rape in different spaces in your community, see our Rape Prevention Map.

If rape happens, knowing what to do to if someone is raped, like getting medical help and reporting rape, can protect survivors from further harm. If you are a rape survivor, or a friend, partner, or family member of a rape survivor, our Survivor Healing Map can help make sense of thoughts, feelings and behaviour in the aftermath of rape. Knowing more about how rape can affect a survivor can help survivors and those close to them move towards a place of understanding and healing. Love and support is important for people healing from rape; friends, family and partners can find information about supporting rape survivors here.

Dial the free helpline 0800 428 428 and find help immediately.

SMS “Help” to 31531 to receive a call back.

The majority of rapists are men.

Men who rape come from different backgrounds.

Most men who rape share common experiences, beliefs and behaviours.

If you have ever raped or abused women:

  • You can be helped if you want to be helped.
  • The shame of the rape dies if you accept the wrong you have done and the hurt you have caused.
  • This gives you an opportunity to heal and stop raping.

You may need help if you say yes to any of these questions:

  • I have had repeated thoughts about forcing someone to have sex
  • I have had sex with a drunk person
  • I have forced someone to have sex with me
  • I have ignored someone asking me to stop going through with a sexual act
  • A had an erection and had to have sex, no matter what
  • I believe that when she sais no, she meant yes
  • I was angry with a woman and forced her to have sex as punishment or revenge
  • I spent money on her – she owed me sex, so I took what she owed me
  • I had waited long enough for her to agree so I forced her
  • She was dressed like she wanted sex, so I forced her

Dial the free helpline 0800 428 428 and find help immediately.

SMS “Help” to 31531 to receive a call back.


Men who rape have negative beliefs about women, about relationships and about sex. Some common beliefs:

  • They believe that their sexual partners do not have the right to say no to sex.
  • They believe that they are entitled to sex whenever they feel aroused.
  • They believe that women are inferior to men.
  • They believe that they if they buy women drinks or gifts that she owes them sex.
  • They believe that they can tell a partner what clothes to wear and control where their partners should go and which friends she sees.

Common experiences include:

  • Not having a caring, positive father figure
  • Leaving school at an early age
  • Experience of violence at home or in the community
  • Poor communication at home
  • Witnessing or experiencing sexual abuse
  • Experience of being bullied
  • Alcohol and drug abuse

Three quarters of men who rape do it for the first time before they are 20 years old, and most rape more than once.

If you have raped and taken full responsibility for your actions through the legal system, you can play an active role in addressing rape by making a difference, through sharing your journey and speaking out against rape, especially to other men.


Myth Fact
A woman who gets drunk is inviting rape. A person that is drunk can’t give consent. Taking advantage of a drunk person is rape.
Women who wear revealing clothing invite men to rape them. Women are raped no matter what they wear – babies are raped, old women are raped, nuns are raped. Clothing does not make men rape. Women are entitled to wear whatever they choose, just as men are.
Rapists are strangers who attack in dark or lonely places. Rapists are usually someone the survivor knows and are often a family member, friend, neighbour or current/ex-partner.
When a woman lets a man buy her a drink, he is entitled to have sex with her. Accepting a drink, does not mean that a woman is saying yes or consenting to sex. She has the right to choose if, when and with whom she has sex.
It’s not rape if they are married or in a relationship. In any relationship, each partner has the right to say no to sex. Rape often occurs in relationships and marriages. If a person does not consent to sex, it is rape, no matter the relationship between the two people.
Once a man is aroused and has an erection he has to have sex. Every human being has control over their body and can choose to stop at any point.
Women say no when they mean yes. Only Yes means Yes.
Men can’t be raped. Men can be raped and do get raped.

Dial the free helpline 0800 428 428 and find help immediately.

SMS “Help” to 31531 to receive a call back.



Love your children, spend time listening and talking and be attentive to their needs…


If you hear violence happening in your neighbourhood, see if there is a way to go there for any reason e.g…


Show your love for your partner by respecting their right to say no to sex…


Build good trusting relationships with your learners…


Have posters and brochures that promote healthy communication in relationships…

Police Station

Have posters and brochures in the police station that promote human rights for all and respect for women…

Church / Faith-Based Organization

Speak about violence against women and rape as unacceptable…

Tavern Owner

Make your tavern a violence-free zone…


Speak out against rape and abuse. Talk about respect and human rights of all people, especially women, girls…


If you see a woman/ girl/ any person being violated and raped intervene. You can report it to the police, you can…


Violence Help Line: 0800 428 428
Rape Crisis, Cape Town: 021 447 9762
Rape Crisis, Port Elizabeth: 041 484 3804
Greater Rape Intervention Project Counselling Help Line: 083 310 1321

Perpetrator Healing Map

Acknowledge & Take Responsibility

The first step is to acknowledge you have a problem and take full responsibility for your behaviour.

Get Help & Support

You are not alone, there are people and organisations who can help you on your journey.

Be Honest

If you do not face up to your actions you will not be able to heal.

Practise Acceptance

Take time to appreciate and accept how your behaviour has affected people around you directly and indirectly.

Believe That Change Is Possible

All through your journey it is important to maintain the belief that change is possible.


Acute Phase

Feelings of shock, fear, panic, anger, shame and guilt, expressed through crying, being upset, being dazed/out…

Coping Phase

Trying to carry on with life as per normal – may push thoughts and feelings away. Avoidance of certain…

Consolidation phase

Intense feelings that the survivor felt after the incident begin to resurface – this could be in the form of panic…

Renewal Phase

The survivor is able to make sense of the rape in ways that release destructive beliefs about themselves…



of girls under the age of 12 are raped by someone they know


of girls between the ages of 12 and 17 are raped by someone they know


of rapes reported in South Africa involve children under the age of 18

5 484

of the 62,649 sexual offences reported in 2014 resulted in a conviction