Fast Tracking the end of GBV and Femicide

Are you assaulting, raping, murdering, emotionally and emotional abusing a women? Sekwanele – Enough is Enough! This is the provincial theme adopted in Gauteng, for the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children Campaign (VAWAC).

The Gauteng Department of Community Safety held a media briefing at Constitution Hill, Braamfontein, launching 16 Days of Activism which officially started on 25 November and will end on 10 December, which is next week Friday.

According to government website, 16 Days of Activism is a worldwide campaign to oppose VAWAC which aims to raise awareness of the negative impact that violence and abuse have on women and children and to rid society of abuse permanently.

In fast tracking the end of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and Femicide, MEC of the Department of Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko outlined the provincial plans as follows: a series of dialogue sessions will be held in communities with a focus on VAWAC issues, discussing causes and finding applicable solutions. Safety blitz and theatrical productions will be performed alongside communities.

According to statistics, SA is in the top 5 countries plagued by GBV. “Sebokeng in Vaal region is declared number 1 in contact crime nationally and provincially,” said MEC. The department will initiate and implement above mentioned plans in Sebokeng followed by other communities affected and experiencing GBV.

“Men need to lead GBV campaigns because they are the perpetrators of Femicide. Women as victims cannot converse amongst themselves. Men should be isolated from society and admitted to centres like Ikhaya Lethemba instead of women,” she asserted.

MEC made firm recommendations that society needs to be involved and make amendments to the Domestic Violence Act, to give recognition to other people reporting cases besides victims.

Community Safety runs a one stop centre for GBV victims, Ikhaya Lethemba (loosely translated means ‘house of hope’). The department unveiled ‘Ikhaya Lethemba GBV legacy booklet’ which profiles life experiences of beneficiaries of the shelters services and their road to success.

Patrick Shai a renowned actor, Community Safety ambassador and MD of Khuluma Ndoda (men’s social movement against GBV) organisation, highlighted that men seem to be socialised to be inhumane; they attack dignity of women; chauvinistic and think marriage should oppress or remove a women’s identity. “If you can’t be a man at least be human,” he urged.

His organisation galvanizes efforts on home based advocacy programmes (promoting safety, wellness, progress and prosperity) in communities.

“I dream of a day when men can write stories and say they have changed,” he said.

Women, children and communities at large need to make use of available resources at their disposal to eradicate harrowing scourge of GBV such as the Gender Based Violence Command Centre (GBVCC) as well as Victim Empowerment Programmes (VEP) provincially. GBVCC is a national 24 hour call centre facility offering immediate assistance to victims launched by the Department of Social Development in partnership with Vodacom Foundation in March 2014, in Tshwane.

Colleagues are invited to spread and possibly participate in various 16 Days of Activism events and activities.

Source: Gauteng Province