New Beginning: 'I am the Girl who was Raped

CapeTalk’s Pippa Hudson speaks to Michelle Hattingh, first-time author of a recently published book “I am the Girl who was Raped”.

Michelle is a former University Stellenbosch student, and was raped on the very day that she delivered her Psychology Honours paper on rape.

I felt like as a woman in South Africa, you live with the fear of being raped. From when I was a little girl, it is something that controlled my thoughts and actions. So I was interested in how women were controlled by this fear.

Michelle Hattingh, author of 'I am the Girl who was Raped'

Listen to the full conversation below:

I did my thesis on male discourse, the way men talk about rape. I was tired of rape being a woman’s problem.

Michelle Hattingh, author of 'I am the Girl who was Raped'

I just wanted to see how men make sense of rape when they talk about it.

Michelle Hattingh, author of 'I am the Girl who was Raped'

In her research, Michelle discovered that men blame the rape victims for the rape. She says they used words like ‘why was she there’, ‘why was she drinking a lot’ or ‘why was she dressed like that?

Finally when I worked on my thesis for about a year, I gave my presentation in the morning and in the evening we were having our year end party. That’s when we were raped.

Michelle Hattingh, author of 'I am the Girl who was Raped'

Michelle feels the term “rape survivor” has become a politically correct term which people use to describe rape victims. She says being raped, you don’t survive anything.

I prefer the term rape victim

Michelle Hattingh, author of 'I am the Girl who was Raped'

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