Motorcade held to combat gender-based violence in Site B
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CAPE TOWN: In light of making strides to reduce the rate of gender-based violence (GBV) in the community, Ilitha Labantu, in collaboration with the Site B community police forum (CPF) and police, held the “Uthuleleni” motorcade today, for the 16 Days of Activism Against Women and Child Abuse campaign, for 2021.
With the crime statistics for the period between July and September indicating an increase in murder, sexual offences, attempted murder and assault, deputy chair of the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Dr Nthabiseng Moleko said that the unusually low figures in April-June 2020 were due to an overall drop in crime during the hard lockdown, making the increase of 60.6% this year particularly dramatic.
“The reality is that contact crimes, which tend to reflect gender-based violence – murder, attempted murder and sexual offences, in the first quarter, have been on an upward trajectory over the past five years – from 140 281 in 2017 to 145 120 this year, an increase of 3.5% over five years – making the five-year low of 2020 a distinct anomaly,” said Moleko.
Ilitha Labantu spokesperson Siyabulela Monakali said that while 16 Days of Activism has lost its essence over time, as the crimes still takes place, more effort should be put into formulating strategies that will be more effective.
“Over the years, the 16 Days of Activism has kind of lost it's essence because, far too often, it becomes a talk show and not enough emphasis is placed on formulating strategies that will be more effective with regards to addressing the issue and the scourge of violence against women and children.
“With Khayelitsha being a community known for high rates of crime and violence, an element of lawlessness has immersed itself in the community.
“The spike in incidents of femicide plaguing our communities is a call to action that we should not tolerate any forms of violence perpetrated against women, and we demand that stronger action to be taken on perpetrators of GBV and femicide in our communities.
“Hence, Ilitha Labantu strongly believes that it is through our collective effort that we can effectively address this scourge that is plaguing our homes and community. We are deeply encouraged by the fruitful partnership Ilitha Labantu has with the media in helping to raise awareness about the scourge of violence against women and children,” said Monakali.
According to Dr Moleko, with violence against women and children having a price tag – given the money allocated to policing, social services for victims of crime, justice and correctional services – she added that healing is needed in order to break cycle of abuse.
“We have to address childhood abuse and trauma in our society. Various studies have shown that more than 50% of men who admit to using violence against women were themselves abused and predisposed to experiencing trauma. We need greater awareness and attention in dealing with mental health issues affecting men, as perpetrators of GBV have issues such as depression, childhood trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, and alcohol abuse.
“South Africa is a very angry society. Unless there is healing in the nation, the behaviour of violence is repeated and becomes intergenerational. The cycle of abuse must be broken from the side of perpetrators, and healing for the perpetrators will mean we have fewer victims,” said Moleko.