Activism has to command the short attention spans of the outraged if it is to succeed, writes Lisa Vetten.
It is an atypical argument for a gender activist to make - that the police must put more effort into investigating cases of stranger rape.
A gender activist slams the media's contention that the Protection from Harassment Bill is part of a state conspiracy to clamp down on the media
Lisa Vetten looks at the gulf between new progressive laws and their implementation.
"This year, when the statistics went up the increase was explained as proof of greater public confidence in the police, thus encouraging women to report the crime. These self-congratulatory claims, certainly demonstrate chutzpah on the part of the police," writes Lisa Vetten, the gender programme manager at the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation.
Journalists are the self-appointed custodians of the pot of public sympathy and they guard its apportionment jealously. To the good and virtuous they dole out rich, nourishing platefuls of comfort; to the undeserving, a grudging and watery dilution of feeling. Consider the very different treatment meted out by the media to Leigh Matthews and Annemarie Engelbrecht.
Statistics, in and of themselves make for boring conversation and dull reading. Yet they leap to volatile, political life when used to make arguments about race and violence, sex and death -- as the angry exchanges between President Thabo Mbeki, anti-rape activist Charlene Smith and the Democratic Alliance's Ryan Coetzee demonstrate. These debates are important for the questions they raise, argues Lisa Vetten.
"His sexual abuse of you results in your hospitalisation. You stuff a dishcloth in your mouth when he beats you so that your children will not hear your cries." This introduction, a composite of the lives of Anita Ferreira, Elsie Morare, Sharla Sebejan, Meisie Kgomo, Harriet Chidi and Maria Scholtz, tries to convey some sense of the slamming brutality of domestic violence.