Sue Jaye Johnson


How can I amplify the voices of the girls who are on the front lines of the epidemic of sexual violence?


South Africa has one of the highest rates of sexual violence in the world. Girls bears the brunt of this. Secrecy and shame further the trauma that too many have experienced.

For the past several years, I have been collaborating with human rights lawyer India Baird, founder of Rock Girl and Brave Adventure Academy, bringing girls on road trips across South Africa to document the lives of girls and women. Away from home, girls have the chance to see themselves in a new context. Sometimes it’s a simple as learning how to check into a hotel or ordering at a restaurant—knowing that these spaces are theirs to occupy. Their stories have been published in national and international press, and broadcast on SABC. The girls have interviewed women who have broken ground in politics, activism and tourism, given messages of solidarity on local and national radio stations, produced exhibitions and events and reported their findings to the Minister of Justice and local officials. We are planning a United States Civil Rights tour in 2018.