NGOs and police raise GBVF awareness

Ilitha Labantu motorcade #Uthuleleni Anti- GBVF campaign was in Khayelitsha to raise awareness about gender-based violence and femicide.

Non-profit organisation Ilitha Labantu, in partnership with various stakeholders, held a motorcade #Uthuleleni Anti-GBVF campaign around Khayelitsha in an effort to raise a sharp voice against gender-based violence and femicide.

They drove around Harare last Thursday, November 2, before making a stop at Khayelitsha mall and Makhaya Spar shopping centre where they raised awareness and concerns about the spike in the number of rape cases reported in the last quarter crime statistics.

Ilitha Labantu spokesperson, Siyabulela Monakali, said the motorcade came as a response to that increasing number of rape cases.

He said Khayelitsha has been featured largely over the decade in the top 30 gender-based violence (GBV) hotspot lists and such campaigns are conducted to help foster a meaningful change in the fight against this scourge

He said such campaigns were critical as stats have revealed that these cases of GBV and rape mostly occur in the home of the victim or perpetrator where friends and family have likely seen something.

“We want to remind men that they do not have any power over women and children.

“We appeal to men not to treat women and children as objects. We are here to urge women to speak up against any form of abuse.

“But we also call on men to report incidents of abuse when they experience it themselves and especially when police officers laugh at them and not help them.

“We want women not to die in silence. We should never tolerate and accept abuse in our communities,”he said.

Emthonjeni Counselling and training representative, Amanda Msuqwana, said the organisation aims to create safe spaces within the community for everyone who are battling with any matters of gender-based violence.

Ms Msuqwana said as an organisation that works in the townships, they felt the need to add their voice against gender-based violence and inform the community about their services.

She urged men not to suffer in silence but to speak up when they are abused and she appealed to good men to raise their voices sharply against other men who continue to abuse children and women.

Lingelethu police station spokesperson, Xoliswa Nyalambisa, said as police officers they condemned any form of violence and called on victims to seek help.

She grabbed the opportunity to urge men to not feel ashamed and embarrassed about reporting gender-based incidents.

She said they are aware of some of the reasons which make men unwilling to report such incidents as they fear victimisation from police officers.

However, she said any police officer who treats them in a hostile manner when they try to report a case should be reported to the station’s management.

Sergeant Nyalambisa said their duty as officers is to render police services and not to judge.

Lingelethu West police station spokesperson, Xoliswa Nyalambisa urged men to report gender-based violence and not feel ashamed.