Breaking the culture of silence is key to ending violence against women and children.
This was the message conveyed to a group of Nyanga residents when loveLife, in partnership with various stakeholders, launched a free helpline on Monday November 25.
The launch coincided with the start of the international 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children Campaign which runs from November 25 until December 10 every year.
It was emphasised that ending gender-based violence should be a priority in Nyanga and across the country.
loveLife representative, Themba Maseti, said it was essential that they sought alternative ways of ending violence against women and children.
He said if you know anyone who is experiencing gender-based violence or you are experiencing it you could send a please call me to 083 323 1023 and a counsellor would call you back and assist. This is a national helpline.
He said they completely understood that not everyone has the means to go to police stations or buy air time to report the case.’Women and children should live in a free and safe environment.
“We should not only talk about gender-based violence at this time of the year but it should be a daily thing. “In our families, we should talk openly about gender-based violence. Women, don’t die in silence. Women have rights too. Our responsibility as men is to provide for and protect our families,” he said.
Mr Maseti said ending gender-based violence is everyone’s fight and should not be seen or considered as the duty of police officers only.
Resident, Mbulelo Dyantyi said as men they had failed in their duty to teach young men and boys how to treat women and to rebuke their friends and relatives when they abused women. He said good men should never associate themselves with men who abuse and harass women and children. Nyanga police station commander, Brigadier Vuyisile Ncata, said as police officers they welcomed every effort to help them combat gender-based violence.
He said residents had a responsibility to ensure that they worked closely with them to make Nyanga a safer place for women and children. Nyanga community police forum secretary (CPF), Dumisani Qwabe, said they have doubled their efforts in ensuring that becomes a better place to live. he said their partnership with various stakeholders was yielding the desired outcomes.