The month of November is known for the launch of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign. The campaign is held from 25 November to 10 December every year. It aims to raise awareness of the negative impact that violence and abuse have on women and children and to eradicate abuse from society completely.
Two weeks before the launch of 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against women and children campaign, minister of Police Bheki Cele released the Q2 crime statistics for the months of July, August and September 2020. These were dangerous months for thousands in South Africa and in particular, women. According to the statistics, 8 922 cases of rape were reported. A sample of 5 168 rape dockets revealed that 3 578 persons were raped in their homes or at the home of their perpetrators. Majority of those who were raped were women.
Despite the fact that the 16 Days of Activism Campaign began in 1998 in South Africa, gender-based violence continues to torment women and children to this day, as shown by the latest statistics. Violence against women and children is a serious issue in South Africa and we can longer turn a blind eye to it. These alarming statistics are clearly telling us that there is something wrong within our society.
I believe in order to curb gender-based violence during the 16 days of activism campaign; we need to look at gender inequalities in our society be it in a workplace, home, churches and so on, as it is one of the contributing factors to gender-based violence. Every South African has a duty to stand up against women and children abuse that can be done by reporting such acts to the police station or raising awareness in communities and schools.
The 16 days of activism for no violence against women and children campaign should be supported by all South Africans in order to raise awareness and funds to assist the victims of gender based violence. Violence against women and children is not the problem of the government alone but the society as a whole and that is why it is crucial that we support the campaign.
If you need help, the Gender-Based Violence Command Centre (GBVCC) has a toll free number to call. Social workers are available for assistance and counselling. Contact 0800 428 428 (0800 GBV GBV). You can also dial *120*7867# (free) from any cell phone.