A Philippi non-profit organisation has renewed its calls for an end to all forms of violence against women and children.
At the start of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children Campaign, on Thursday November 25, men and women from the Cesvi Foundation gathered at the Philippi East police station where they handed over a petition calling for the police to treat victims of gender violence with dignity and provide them with feedback on their cases.
At the beginning of November, the foundation launched a campaign to get 1 000 men to sign a petition voicing their disgust at gender violence.
That petition was presented to the police station last Thursday.
“We say we have waited for too long for action to be taken,” said Cesvi programme manager, Luvuyo Zahela. “The statistics on the abuse and death of our fellow sisters, mothers, daughters and now even babies are alarmingly increasing and something must be done.”
The petition would show the government that men would no longer tolerate violence, he said.
“We need measures in place that will aim to eradicate violence against women and children, rid our society of toxic patriarchal values and ensure gender justice,” he said, calling on the government to implement laws and policies to end gender violence and provide better support for victims.
The government should also make schools safer, and the criminal justice system needed to be more sensitive to the needs of victims, he said.
“All cases must be prioritised, Victims must be fully supported by SAPS investigators and prosecutors to ensure effective and successful convictions are secured.”
Accepting the petition, station commander Colonel Mziwabantu Jada said: “I am elated that there are men, boys and women who are in the forefront of the fight. I will make sure that I comply with all the demands in the petition. As police we will stick with you in the fight against gender-based violence.”
Vuyisa Masupa, who was part of the accompanying motorcade, called on men to be responsible. Progressive men should stand up and be counted.
“Let us take action as responsible men. Let us not sit back while our sisters and mothers are being killed and raped,” he said.