This is an archive of the Treatment Action Campaign's public documents from December 1998 until October 2008. I created this website because the TAC's website appears unmaintained and people were concerned that it
was becoming increasingly hard to find important documents.

The menu items have been slightly edited and a new stylesheet applied to the site. But none of the documents have been edited, not even for minor errors. The text appears on this site as obtained from the Internet Archive.

The period covered by the archive encompassed the campaign for HIV medicines, the civil disobedience campaigns, the Competition Commission complaints, the 2008 xenophobic violence and the PMTCT, Khayelitsha health workers and Matthias Rath court cases.

Surviving Rape

Georgina Booysen

My name is Georgina Booysen and I am 38 years old. I have been married twice to the same man. I've three children, 6, 14 and 10 years old. I was born in Paarl in Klein Drakenstein in October of 1967. I like to do the things that I have in my life. At the moment my family is not so supportive but I've learned to ignore that. I am a very outspoken person and like to make new friends and to sing, dance and model.

On my 21st birthday in 1988 I was going with a friend of mine to Bellville South. It was my first time going there. When the day had gone, my friend said that I must come with her to celebrate my birthday. I went with her and her friend, a male friend. We celebrated that night and I got drunk and told her that I wanted to go home. She told me she was not going home then. After two minutes she sent her friend to me and he said he would help me get home. I agreed because I didn't know the place. We walked through the bush and then, all of a sudden, he pushed me down on the ground and he raped me. At that time I couldn't believe it was happening to me. I was crying and the pain between my legs was very heavy. When he was finished he said that if I told anybody he would kill me.

The next day I couldn't find my friend. I was so devastated at the time that I decided to go home on my own. After that night, my life wasn't the same anymore. It was like my life was turned around. When I got home I didn't know how to look at my grandma face-to-face. It was like she knew what happened to me. After a month I didn't get my menstruation. Two months went by and after three months I went to the doctor. He examined me and gave me news that I was pregnant. I thought I would kill myself. I started to cry and he asked me what was wrong. Then I started to talk with tears in my eyes. When I had finished the doctor said I should tell someone, but at the time I couldn't talk to anyone.

The day after I went to the doctor in Bellville, I went looking for the man who raped me. I found him at my friend's mother's place. I told him that I'm pregnant and he said it was not his child. I was sick with worry (what would my grandma say?). On the way back home, I was so tired that when I got to a place called Aberdeen, I stayed. I didn't tell anyone about it. I was there for six weeks with a female friend.

I never thought of giving my child away, but for nine months, while she was growing in me, it was like a death sentence. When she was born, I looked at her and decided not to give her away. Two years later I got married. That was in 1991 and in the same year I gave birth to a baby boy. Four years later I gave birth to another baby girl. After five and a half years of marriage I divorced my husband and worked alone for my kids without any support from their father. Then I started to do modelling work again while I was still working. In 2002, I re-married my husband and a year later I found that I had made the biggest mistake of my life.

After I quit my job, my family was very supportive and I opened a house shop. That's how I live. In 2002, I started working as a volunteer at our local radio station. There I got involved with a lot of organisations and a friend introduced me to a friend of hers who was a TAC volunteer. He told me all about TAC and I decided to join. I have been a TAC member for two years now and it has changed my whole life because here we are a family. We don't discriminate and people understand our situations. At first I felt guilty because my comrades were open about their status and I was just there listening to them. After a year in TAC I decided to tell them my story. They didn't discriminate against me. They didn't gossip about me. We are all a family.

HIV has affected my life. Six years ago a family member died of HIV/AIDS. At that time there were no ARVs available at our hospitals. I work for TAC because I know what it is like to live with something, that you can't always expose yourself to make the community aware of the virus.

The man was in jail. Today I have a beautiful 17-year-old daughter, a son, and a baby daughter. They are all TAC members now. I told my daughter about the rape last year in November and we talked the whole night through. Now we are very close friends. I'm glad that I kept her. That man who raped me, I forgave him already, because through all my pain and suffering and through all the years, I've become strong. It has made me a very strong woman.

My plans for the future are to help more people in my community and achieve the goals I had before I was raped. Life goes on.