Assessing the epidemic of violence against women in SA numerically, there are no “good” weeks or “bad” weeks. Making sense of the available data — which, based as it is on police figures, inadequately captures the severity of the problem — means discerning trends over longer periods.

Here, the news is unambiguously bad: more women have been raped, assaulted and murdered year on year since 2016 than before. SA women don’t need statistics to confirm this. They live with the threat of sexual violence and femicide daily. They are survivors, or they know survivors, or they grieve for dead friends and acquaintances.

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