Pretoria: The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has kick-started its 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign with support from the community of Daveyton, Ekurhuleni.
Community members converged at the Rhoo Hlatshwayo Arts and Culture Hall on Wednesday to say “Count Me In” in the plight to stop all forms of abuse against women and children.
The campaign, held under the theme ‘Count Me In: Together Moving a Non-violent South Africa forward’, aims to mobilise stakeholders across society to unite against abuse.
It also encourages individual and community activism to stop the scourge of abuse.
The department’s event was supported by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Legal Aid South Africa (LASA), South African Police Service (SAPS) and South African Women Lawyers’ Association (SAWLA), who all pledged their support and commitment to do everything in their power to work together to say “Enough is Enough!”
Resident Thabo Ngozi said he attended the event to be part of the fight against abuse so that “the vulnerable in our society also feel safe”.
“It can never be correct that women and children are not safe around us. They see us as monsters because of what other men are doing to them.
“Not all men are like that and I believe that men have a huge responsibility of protecting their families and other community members against abuse,” he said.
Some community members said even though they are not happy with the levels of crime in their area, they appreciate the initiatives government is putting in place to guarantee their safety.
The Gauteng Regional Head of the Department of Justice and Correctional Services, Emily Dhlamini, said they want to encourage everyone in communities, civil society and the private sector to work closely with government to put an end to abuse.
“We invited the police, officials from the NPA, SAWLA and Legal Aid so communities can talk to them about their issues and we can solve them right here.
“Where we are unable to assist, we have taken down details and will defer them to the relevant departments so that they can be attended to,” Dhlamini said.
She said everyone must unite and take a stand to achieve the ideal of a non-violent society.
“We have one common goal of putting an end to abuse and it should not matter which religion or political party you belong to but we should be uniting and ending this together,” she said.
The department will have a series of activities throughout the country during this campaign to educate communities about the programmes available to support victims of abuse.
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS