Gender-based violence is a societal problem – and while everyone has the responsibility to speak out against it, men have the biggest role to play in ending it.
This was the key message delivered in Philippi where uMthombo Wempilo in partnership with various other organisations hosted an event at which they aimed to find ways to put an end to the abuse of women and children.
On Saturday September 11, community leaders and Nyanga police engaged in a detailed and informative discussion about gender-based violence and other crime trends in Philippi.
Philippi Community Policing Forum (CPF) secretary, Thanduxolo Xokoza, said the CPF believed that not everyone understands the negative impact of gender based violence on women and children.
He suggested the establishment of satellite CPF offices, based in shipping containers, to increase the visibility of crime fighters in the area.
“We know that police can’t have eyes and ears everywhere hence we believe that such containers would be helpful. We also know that this area is one of the leading communities across the country when it comes to car hijacking and we want to change that.
“We want to reclaim our area back. We also want to have such discussions so that we could reach as many people as possible,” he said.
uMthombo Wempilo director, Buhle Msipha, said the first thing is to acknowledge that GVB is happening in our communities and that not enough is being done to address it.
A major problem, he said, was that many men still thought it was “normal” to slap a woman when things didn’t go his way and that many reacted with violence when they felt they were being verbally abused by women.
Acknowledging that not all men abused women and children, he called on the “good men” to get behind the campaigns to end gender-based violence.
Philippi Development Forum (PDF) chairperson, Maleki Mbonde, echoed the sentiment that GBV should be condemned and that every man was duty-bound to ensure that women feltsafe around him.
Selikhaya Disability Centre treasurer, Nokwayiya Stena, said the discussion had also created a platform to raise issues facing people who were living with disability and facing gender-based violence.