Busi Kheswa, of the Gauteng Department of Social Development writes:
Although they are unable to reveal by how much incidents of violence against women and children have increased countrywide, the police have warned that the numbers are on the rise.
Major General Tebello Mosikili, national head of the police’s Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Investigation unit, has warned women to report abuse early, lest they are killed by their partners.
Mosikili, whose unit investigates all cases of violence against women and children, said, “More needs to be done to address the problem of domestic abuse. These crimes are taking place where they cannot be policed. They take place in bedrooms, homes and secluded areas where policing such crimes is almost impossible.”
According to Mosikili, the violence starts with small incidents and then escalates to the point where ‘lives are lost’.
Violence on the vulnerable continues to spread like uncontrollable cancer. One could ask that with so many campaigns aimed at curbing the scourge, why such heinous behaviour persists?
Recent reports of Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Mduduzi Manana, who allegedly assaulted a woman in a night club, shocked the nation. More so, the incident happened during Women’s Month.
Shaka Sisulu, who is a prominent TV personality, is alleged to have assaulted his partner, and retired footballer Marks Maponyane has been found guilty of assaulting his wife.
This is to name but a few of shameful incidents that have been brought to light. What is more disappointing is that we expect public figures to lead by example, and for some reason, we think they are also progressive and will advocate for the rights of women and children.
Beating a woman does not make you a hero, but a coward. As a man, you are supposed to protect, not provoke.
The Gauteng Department of Social Development and other government departments continue to run victim empowerment programmes that aim to contribute to building safe and peaceful communities, strengthening a human rights culture and provide more effective, multi-sectoral, coordinated responses to victims of crime and trauma, particularly women and children.
The department also focuses on interventions related to fighting human trafficking as this practice seems to be growing, particularly targeting young women and girls. Over the period under review, the department rendered victim empowerment services to 46 800 victims of crime and violence.
A total of 174 931 beneficiaries were reached through programmes of no violence against children and women including 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, and 75 victims of human trafficking accessed social services.
As a society, we need to band together to find a sustainable solution to this inhumane behaviour. The recent media reports of women abuse by prominent public figures unmask the true face of gender-based violence.
One incident is one too many.