South Africa: Education on Sexual Violence and HIV/AIDS: Beyond Victims and Villains

Beyond Victims and Villains (BVV) is an evidence-based educational programme devised by CIET to change awareness about sexual violence and HIV/AIDS.

The audio series is a docudrama in eight episodes. Each episode runs for 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the language. All the episodes feature the same three characters: Mrs Khumalo, Lele Moini and Professor Neil Andersson. Mrs Khumalo is a social worker and volunteer at a local clinic. She has a show on her local radio station. When CIET fieldworker Lele Moini knocked on her door for a household survey she became interested in the research and invited Lele on her show. She invited Professor Andersson to explain what the statistics mean.


The initial version drew on evidence from CIET’s national survey in South Africa in 2002, which collated youth views and experience about sex and sexual violence. Since then, additional episodes cover issues around anti-retroviral therapy, based on surveys in 2005, and choice disablement -when people lack the power to handle health-related situations in a safe manner-, based
on more recent surveys in the region. We updated the materials with evidence from CIET’s 2007 national surveys of adults and school students in each of ten countries (Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe), covering sexual behaviour and HIV-related knowledge, attitudes and practices.

The audio series has been used in several ways including broadcast on radio programmes, to support evidence-base discussions in small groups (ideally 8 to 12 participants) led by a trained facilitator, and in classrooms as part of a life-skills curriculum.

On radio, typically, the presenter plays a single audio episode. Afterwards, the issues and themes presented are discussed with one or more local experts, either alone or as a phone-in programme to involve listeners.

In a small group discussion the facilitator uses each episode to stimulate discussion of the issues


and how they are relevant to the local community, as well as discussion of possible local actions to deal with the issues.

In class, the educator has three lessons that can follow each audio episode. The educator, knowing the class and what work has been done before, may choose one, two or all three of the lessons, or may choose to combine elements from each of the three lessons.

The materials consist of a CD/audio tape and accompanying manuals, lesson plans and workbooks. Depending on the way the audio is used, the workbooks can inlude:

  • a Trainer’s Guide for facilitators of small group discussion sessions
  • a Workbook for educators, including lesson plans etc
  • a Workbook for students in schools

Under contract to the Education Departments of the Free State, Northern Cape and North West provinces, CIET trained several thousand teachers in the use of the materials. They were also used in Limpopo and Eastern Cape Provinces as a mechanism to include female elders as support for young people.

Evaluations of the materials have been conducted through their use in Limpopo, Eastern Cape and Free State.

Sample excerpts from the workbooks can be seen by clicking here.

A report on efforts during 2004 to socialize the evidence from the national survey using the BVV materials is available from the library.