An ode to the #RUReferenceList movement.

21 Apr

TW: An ode to the #RUReferenceList movement.

Five years ago, the colony’s management at Rhodes University called the South African Police Service (SAPS) on protesting unarmed women students. On the morning of 17 April 2016, the SAPS was given the full go-ahead to use force on the unarmed students. Their instruction was to use whatever costs necessary to stop the protesting.

On that day, women students + allies at the colony Rhodes University made history. These brave students did what no one expected to happen and demanded that the perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence be held accountable. They refused to coddle the perpetrators any longer and play along with the status quo.

Several students arrested, the university’s management targeted others, which was the beginning of the legal action taken against victims and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. 

That day, the warriors inspired victims and survivors globally. Victims whose communities had silenced them, silenced into shame and guilt for crimes committed against them because of rape and sexual violence.

That day the student embarked on a journey for justice not only for themselves but for those they cared for and for future generations of students and women in general who may be at risk and exposed to gender-based violence. 

A list of 11 names is what shut down that institution. 

We must never forget those 11 names, and we must never forget that there will always be others for as long as we don’t stand up and break the silence – Disrupt the patriarchy and hold the system accountable!

Where were the alleged perpetrators? 

What happened to the men who raped the women?  

The male-led institution ensured they were kept safe and isolated, and protected. Many of them went on to graduate from university and work and pursue their dreams. 

We will never forget it.

 #RUReferenceList

#RememberRUReferenceList

Please watch and share a five-year commemoration video written by Gorata Chengeta, narrated by Yolanda Dyantyi.

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