Men Critical in Fight Against Abuse

Men are critical partners in the fight against the abuse of women and children, Arts and Culture Deputy Minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi said.

“We need to speak out against violence and report it to the police. We, who are mothers, need to bring up our sons to respect women,” Deputy Minister Mabudafhasi said.

Speaking at the closing event for the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign in Diepsloot on Wednesday, she encouraged all those who are abusive to their partners or children to seek help.

The 16 Days campaign is an on-going annual global campaign which takes place between 25 November and 10 December.

The theme for this year’s campaign is Count Me In: Together Moving a Non-Violent South Africa Forward.

“We need to interrogate and understand what is making women vulnerable to gender based violence and the institutionalised violence of poverty and inequality as well as what is preventing women from enjoying human rights,” Deputy Minister Mabudafhasi said.

She said since 1994 government had developed several pieces of legislation to redress the wrongs affecting women and children.

“We must understand how our own attitudes and actions might perpetuate sexism and violence. We must ensure that children are not exposed to inappropriate sexual and violent material,” Deputy Minister Mabudafhasi said.

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega called on South African men and women to partner with the police in the fight against crime.

“Together we can make a difference because we gly believe… that somebody somewhere, somehow knows something about crime,” Phiyega said.

She encouraged the residents of Diepsloot to report crime to the police.

United Nations Population Fund representative Dr Ester Muia encouraged community members to respect each other.

“We need to look at what is causing the problem of violence,” Dr Muia said.

She said a study which was done in Gauteng showed that out every five women, three of them had experienced violence.

Dr Muia said the figure is unacceptable and it was high time the country engages men in the fight against women and children abuse.

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