TODAY is day four of 16 days of activism to end violence against women and children.
We salute Independent Media for bringing us the harrowing true stories behind the statistics. Don’t look away!
We have to all join hands and act to end gender-based violence. Far too many women are abused and violated every day. On average, one woman is raped every 15 minutes.
This is according to the crime statistics released recently. And let’s not forget, many cases go unreported.
Domestic violence is widespread. Our children are also falling victim to crime in their thousands. Many go missing and are never reunited with their families.
We need sustainable programmes and we must continue to raise our voices. It’s time to stand up and say “no” to violence. Our women and children need to be protected.
Many victims don’t report crime because the system is failing them. But we must not give up. Download the Namola Safety App free and report any form of abuse. Ensure criminal charges are laid.
The app, powered by DialDirect, has the support of, among others, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula, Women’s Minister Susan Shabangu and the Gauteng Community Safety Department.
Namola has over 112 000 downloads. Use this platform also to make tip-offs and get criminals arrested. The private sector has an important role and we must all join hands to #MakeSASafe.
Enter For Women (www. for-women.co.za) is a platform that consolidates efforts to fight woman abuse in one place. The site features the public, private and non-profit organisations who have vowed to put an end to woman abuse, so that survivors of abuse can find the right help, quickly.
For Women also enables South Africans and corporate South Africa who want to take a stand against woman abuse to easily connect with organisations who need their help.
For Women was developed by 1st for Women Insurance who, over the past 12 years, has donated over R56 million to organisations that fight abuse. The platform is powered by Forgood.
It has been structured to holistically address woman abuse through three key pillars – prevention (organisations that work to address the multiple and often interlinked causes of abuse), preparation (organisations that empower women with the tools they need to put an end to this social tragedy), and provision (organisations that can support and assist abuse survivors on their journey).
#MakeSASafe has decided to upgrade a sexual offences facility at the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court. Women who go to court to testify use the room and we will be painting, carpeting and equipping the facility soon.
To donate, go to www.happimo.org
Police need to ensure they up their game. Far too many victims of violence are treated with contempt when they go to police stations to report crime.
Cops are not adequately trained on how to deal with abuse cases. There is little sensitivity and poor investigation work. A female rape victim should not be interviewed by a male officer.
The SAPS must ensure that every station is well equipped and officers should be allocated to deal specifically with woman and child abuse cases. The courts need to ensure that cases are followed through.
Protection orders are often issued but the police fail to act. This results in more violence. The cycle continues.
This year marks 19 years since the UN adopted the 16 Days of Activism Campaign for No Violence Against Women and Children.
Ending the scourge of violence against women and children must remain a top priority of government.
Civil society needs to also take the lead.While we use the 16 days to raise awareness, we need to mobilise and become active citizens.
#CountMeIn and Don’t look away should be top of mind on an on-going basis. Anti-crime activist and Namola’s chief ambassador. He also heads up #MakeSASafe