Moms livid over 'slut list' that ruined lives

08 April 2018 - 00:00 By NASHIRA DAVIDS

Fatima's* marriage is over thanks to a slut list. The "jintoe list" details the alleged sexual escapades of 31 children - including her 14-year-old daughter - and led to the breakdown of her relationship with her husband.
Jintoe is slang for a slut or prostitute.
Now Fatima and four other mothers from Atlantis in Cape Town are leading a campaign to find the person who compiled the list, which has swept through the suburb like a tsunami.
The mothers, who cannot be named because their children are minors, have gathered evidence and reported the matter to the police. This week they met a detective to discuss progress in the investigation.They have become more determined to find the perpetrators since one child tried to commit suicide, a bisexual boy was threatened with rape, a girl refused to leave the house and another was taunted at church.
"I have seen what happened to children who have been bullied like this on Facebook," said Fatima. "I will not rest until the criminal is brought to book. These children have one thing in common - they have a plan for their lives and I am not going to let someone destroy their future."
The women's campaign has prompted the provincial social development department to send social workers to counsel victims.
"My marriage is over, my husband works away a lot and I have to raise my children alone. He says I am hiding things from him," said Fatima, close to tears. Embracing her mother, her daughter said: "It is heartbreaking to see her like this."
The Grade 9 girl has been accused of having oral sex at a bus stop, a boy has been accused of being HIV-positive and having unprotected sex, and a religious girl has been labelled a lesbian with multiple partners. Besides Facebook, the list is still being shared on WhatsApp.
Another mother said her daughter insists on seeing a doctor to confirm she is still a virgin. "These allegations will never disappear from the internet," she said.A young woman who asked to remain anonymous knows what the children are going through. In 2016, she was called a "jintoe" on Facebook because she dated a boy her friend liked. Cyberbullying escalated to physical assault at school.
"They said I stole him from someone but he wanted to be with me ... I failed Grade 11 because of what they did and I had to leave school," said the 20-year-old.
"Facebook destroyed my life. I don't have a job, my father can't find work and neither can my mother. We are struggling."
Her father said he was fired for absenteeism because he had to protect her.
Jadeton Cornelissen, 22, who shared the jintoe list online, met some of the parents this week and told them he would help police find the source.
He told the Sunday Times: "It was just entertainment for me. But I understand why parents are angry at me. It was inappropriate to post the list that a friend sent me."
Several similar lists have emerged in the Western Cape, said Millicent Merton, spokeswoman of the provincial education department.
Dr Denine Smit, a senior law lecturer at the University of the Free State who is the co-author of a book, Vulnerable Employees, which explores bullying at work, said similar electronic lists were being circulated.
"Slut-shaming is a form of cyberbullying and cyberbullying is a form of bullying amplified because of this added dimension of anonymity as well as the difficulty in tracing the perpetrator," said Smit, who warned that it often led to depression, academic problems and even suicide.
Police spokesman FC van Wyk said a case of crimen injuria was being investigated. "All concerned parents of the mentioned children are requested to come to the Atlantis police station with their children so that the necessary statements can be obtained."
*Not her real name

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