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In apartheid South Africa, rape became not only acceptable but also legitimised. The law recognises rape only in limited instances and fails to take effective preventative or punitive action. So expected is the violence that schoolgirls sometimes assist rapists. Armstrong links rape to poverty, race and class, with poor black women being targeted most often. Rape is a weapon men use to maintain dominant male power relations, for example by denying girls an education. The solution must be to change social and cultural attitudes at the household and local levels, because it is the destruction of these units by apartheid that has allowed rape to become prolific.

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