Members of the South African Police Services (SAPS) have joined the number of growing voices calling for an end to the abuse and the brutal killing of women and children in the country.
To mark Child Protection Week, which runs from Sunday May 28 to Sunday June 4, officers from the Philippi East police station and the provincial police youth desk held an awareness campaign at Philippi Plaza, on Friday May 19, to appeal to men to speak out against abuse and urge residents to work with the police.
Nyanga deputy cluster commander Brigadier Zingisa Manci said it was painful to see violence against children and women continuing to escalate and that children no longer felt safe to play outside and be children.
She described perpetrators of violence as “sick people” who were “heartless” and called for their removal from society and to be locked up in prison.
Brigadier Manci said the campaign was held at the plaza because it was a soft target for business robberies, with at least four incidents reported there every week.
She said it was society’s duty and responsibility to protect children and challenged men to be at the forefront of the fight against abuse and victimisation faced by women and children.
Brigadier Manci said men should teach young boys how to treat children and women and emphasise to them that violence did not bring solutions, instead it brought only anger and frustration.
However, she said, they could not paint all men with the same brush, pointing out that there were good male role models and urged them to talk openly with other men. She added that men were meant to be protectors of and providers for their families. “It is time for real men to condemn the atrocities happening in society.
“We hope this campaign would speak to the hearts and minds of men to change their ill behaviour. We can no longer fold our arms and do nothing. We also urge residents not to take the law into their hands,” she said.
Brigadier Manci said they were aware that some men were also victims of abuse and she urged them to report their cases to police and not be ashamed.
Resident Siyabulela Dumbela said as men they needed to speak with one voice and denounce violence against children and women. He said they needed to admit that as men they were feared because of the negative things some had perpetrated.
Another resident, Jackson Mtshwanti, called on men to root out any form of abuse committed by men saying that their integrity and dignity have been dragged through the mud.