Stellenbosch student attacked at gunpoint, shares story to raise awareness

Children are not safe. The students are not safe. South Africa is not sure. Once again, social media has exploded in response to a survival story that echoes the voices of millions across the country. Alexia Weeden, a freshman from Stellenbosch University took to Instagram to warn her peers about the violence in the streets.

* Trigger a warning for assault victims.

On October 9, Alexia attended a dig ceremony, a special occasion where friends come together to celebrate tradition, friendship and university culture. Sadly, a night destined for lifelong memories ended with Alexia running down Soeteweide Street, screaming for help after being attacked as she returned home from the event.

Before leaving the ceremony, Alexia called her friends to make sure she wasn’t coming home alone and that people knew where she was. She took her precautions.

“They told me that they were walking the same road as me and that they were probably 200 meters behind me. I figured my friends were nearby and the road was full of students.

Alexia walked a bit slower so her friends could catch up with her and they could make the trip home together as a group. But she didn’t want to go too far, so stopped outside another popular Stellenbosch residence to wait.

“As a precaution, I put my hand in my bag and grabbed my pepper spray.”

While she was waiting, Alexia saw a young man approach who “looked very harmless”. But before she knew it or had time to react, she had a gun pointed at her temple.

“I immediately assumed he was trying to assault me, so I threw my bag and my phone to the side thinking he would pick up the things and leave.”

However, the situation only got worse and worse when the man pushed Alexia to the ground and told her to open her legs.

“He put his hand in my dress. I told myself that I would rather die than be raped, so I screamed as loud as I could.

The scream surprised the attacker for a moment, which gave Alexia a split second opportunity to get up and run.

“As I ran down the road, the only thing I could think of was that a gunshot could explode behind me. I have never felt so terrified and helpless in my life.

She ran to a group of young men, also students, who helped her walk home.

Alexia is an incredibly courageous survivor who shared her story with Cape {town} Etc in the hopes of raising awareness.

“Considering the circumstances, I am very lucky that nothing more has happened, but I would like to encourage people to be very careful when they go home, especially girls, because incidents like this -this can be very traumatic. “

It is incredibly disappointing that Cape Town women feel “very lucky” after facing such a violation.

Alexia reported the attack to the Stellenbosch Police Department. According to the victim, he was told that “since the curfew was [extended], incidents like [these] have increased dramatically and that students should be very careful.

However, Alexia was “very careful”. She was sure to contact friends and even had pepper spray on hand. The streets were bustling with activity and the attack always happened.

“I was on one of the safest roads, I was less than a mile from home and the road was filled with students who I could hear behind me all the time. Even with things like pepper spray and tasers, facing a gun it’s pretty pointless, so don’t rely on [these things] to protect you.

Alexia is keen to stress that students need to stay together and look out for each other. Women, in particular, should “never take risks and should always put their safety first”.

Cape {town} Etc has contacted the Stellenbosch Police Department to find out what is being done to protect students and prevent such incidents from happening in the first place. We are still waiting for a response.

Stellenbosch University Campus security offers a police escort to students who have to move between campus buildings or from building to your car after dark. Call 021 808 2333 Or 021 808 4202 and wait for an officer to join you.

Here are the emergency numbers for the University of Stellenbosch:

  • Emergency number: 021 808 2333
  • WhatsApp : 082 808 2333
  • Information / Reports / Pedestrian service: 021 808 4666
  • Tygerberg Campus Emergency number : 021 938 9507

Download the campus safety guide HERE.

During this time, we spoke to the amazing team of Women’s self-defense Observatory classes which aim to empower through knowledge, preparation and confidence.

“We would like women to leave our training with an understanding of the various situations that can arise, but also that they have gone through a lot of training in response to each. That they know the situation, the main ones involved and the solution, that they have enough training to adapt and react effectively if they are confronted with situations that they have not formed.

“We want them to leave knowing that they can truly stand up for themselves and others, which means the student gains a new sense of self-respect and confidence. A person’s level of confidence and self-esteem is present in all of their relationships and even their work and decision-making. So a change to these has profound effects. We would like to dissolve the fear people feel, we don’t want people to walk around feeling fear every day, and if people have been abused we want to help them heal as best our contribution will allow. Says instructor Jay.

If you would like to attend a class in person, here are the details:

  • Course: Every Wednesday at 6.30 p.m. (around two hours)
  • What you will learn: Everything from becoming more aware, more confident, being able to better assess a dangerous situation, and even knowing what to expect from an attacker. Be prepared to possibly get a few bruises during these lessons, or to be a little (or very) stiff the next day from all the punches, kicks, elbows, and all the other awesome techniques you get. can practice.
  • E-mail: [email protected]
  • Address: 10 Anson Street, Observatory, Western Cape, South Africa 7925

More places in Cape Town to take a self-defense course:

Pride Combat Academy


  • Contact: 083 304 1981
  • Address: Roeland St & De Villiers Street, Jardins, Cape Town, 8000
  • Website:

Fighting Spirit Club – Wing Chun Martial Arts

  • Contact: 082 459 4037
  • Address: 54 Regent Road, Sea Point, Cape Town, 8060
  • Website:

Cape Town Chinese Martial Arts and Health Center

Cape Town Elite Defense Academy

Read also :

Why Every South African Should Watch ‘Maid’ on Netflix

Photo: Alexia Weeden (permission to use granted).

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