Catholic Relief Services

What happens when society ignores sexual assault? You get Lesotho, where girls aren't even safe at the grocery store

What happens when society ignores sexual assault? You get Lesotho, where girls aren't even safe at the grocery store

On my first day in Lesotho — a hardscrabble, high-altitude kingdom in sub-Saharan Africa — the security guard at my government-run lodgings shook my hand and held on too long. After several awkward seconds, I clumsily took my hand back.

Later that night, around 10 p.m., I awoke to someone rattling the door handle of my rondavel — a round stone hut with a thatched roof. I reached for my heavy Nikon preparing to defend myself but, luckily, the door stayed locked. Every hour or so after that, I heard someone pacing outside. In the morning, I reported the incidents.

“It was probably the security guard,” a female employee suggested.

When I asked that the guard be...

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