“16 Days of Activism : No Violence Against Women & Children”

Five days into South Africa’s “16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children” and I have become acutely aware, almost hyper sensitive of the mounting cases of violence against women and children.

This international awareness-raising campaign takes place every year from 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) to 10 December (International Human Rights Day).

South Africa adopted the campaign in 1998 with the aim of creating a safer society devoid of violence. Awareness is to be raised amongst South Africans about the about the plight of women and children who have been violated and abused.  The motto is : “Count me in : Together moving to a non-violent South Africa forward.”

South Africans are advised to :

  • Wear a white ribbon (a symbol of peace and commitment) during the 16-day period.
  • Participate in the event planned in and around the 16 Days of Activism.
  • Not allow any type of bullying.
  • Contact the helpline to report any form of abuse.
  • Encourage victims to say that “enough is enough”, speak about their plight and seek assistance.
  • Understand that acceptance of abuse perpetuates sexism and violence.
  • Spread the message on social media using #16Days2014.

Did you know that more than half the women murdered worldwide last year were killed by their partners or family members. The very home that is supposed to have been secure has become “the most dangerous place for a woman”, most of the perpetrators being intimate partners.

This past Sunday, our elderly (79) aunt was murdered in her home, stabbed by someone she knew.  The funeral was held yesterday. The culprit handed himself over to the law. A decent, gentle life snuffed out unnaturally.  The crime was publicised, the outcry was “Shame, RIP”. Yes it is a shame, yes, she must rest in peace. Is that it though? Just rest in peace? Some head shaking sorrow and a statistic?!  A valued member, mother, carer who lived her life with hard work, in adversity, was senselessly killed.   

What is needed by the authorities is prevention, effective policing and sentencing.  We asked for the death penalty to be brought back but was denied.  Abusers need to be aware of the consequences of their actions, held accountable and punished in the manner befitting the crime.  Whilst the Parliament may have their acts in place, effective action and punishment needs to be enforced to ensure that violent crimes will not be tolerated. To ensure that all this is justifiably managed,the health & social sectors, policing forum and judicial system are to work together to eliminate violence against women and children.

Communities are advised and encouraged to stand together to “promote collective responsibility in the fight to eradicate violence against women and children”.  Murder, robbery, rape, assault,d omestic and emotional violence has taken its toll on society, “Poverty, inequality and unemployment“ are conditions under which violence thrives. Education needs to begin when males are young. Parents need to ensure that this behaviour is unacceptable, beginning with “little” acts of classroom bullying. It must not be fobbed off as “boys will be boys!”  The message of the repercussions of violent actions needs to be reinforced. It is imperative that women learn to protect themselves.  

 Such is the world, that it is with sadness that I say, that self defence, needs to be part of the Life Orientation process at school. Would you not want your child to be safe? Items of interest and actions of this nature should be brought to the Community Policing Forums and community leaders, responses sought from the education department and implemented.

A concerted effort from all is necessary to support the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign. Do not commit or condone violence against women and children. Enough is enough.

15 thoughts on ““16 Days of Activism : No Violence Against Women & Children”

  1. The saddest and also most irritating thing about this for me, is that I’ve taken the time, effort and LOTS of courage to share about my experiences on this topic, on Instagram, Facebook and my blog. I have majority South African readers. There has been minimum engagement of these posts. But let me run a competition and then people engage like crazy. Where’s the priorities? Should we all not at least use social media for this type of thing instead of spreading bad news which seems easier. Sorry that I’m venting on your post Kavitha. I admire and respect your contribution in creating awareness. I will not regret what I’ve done and even if it only touches one person, it means I positively impacted someone.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sadly my friend, some people prefer to engage in competitions for them unless it hits very close to home and even then, its best to be swept under the carpet. Comnenting and saying “RIP” just kills me when we ought to be actively acting against violence. I wrote a variation of this piece called, “the silent dove”. Guess what, it appealed more as it seemed to be a story. That piece was in fact, based on true events.
      Vent away, i fully understand. Reaching out, touching lives and making a difference is the aim.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. It is so sad that this is still an issue. I am a domestic violence survivor. I called the authorities several times yet nothing was done. They acted like they didn’t want to have any part of it. I finally found an officer who cared enough to help me. I’m so thankful for him! Thank you for this post. I’m sharing!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Keep this problem in the spotlight. Abusers are narcissists and the victims often suffer not only physical abuse but all of the emotional abuse that goes along with it. Find out if your state or country has laws that prohibit all violence and consider it a felony, not just cherry picking. You can make a difference in places like the US where you can have access to your lawmakers and make sure they are aware of the need for changes to the law. My nursing professor had this as her personal project, she testified before the state house and senate about trying to make strangulation a felony-level crime because it is so lethal. In many states it was only a misdemeanor and perpetrators would get away with it without any repercussions or tarnishing to their record. This is slowly changing, although there are still a few states in the US that do not have anti strangulation laws on the books yet. There were 9 as of 2015.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Sarah, thank you for your input. Very interesting to know this. Cannot believed they didnt consider this important or a felony. Kudos to your Nursing Professor for fighting the good fight. Although we earmarked 16 days, rightfully so, our voices need to be heard throughout. I send wRm regards from Sunshiny South Africa. 🤗


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