Join hands to #MakeSASafe and end abuse: The Star today

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. 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.hap­

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

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