Standing up against abuse

A representative of Iltha Labantu informs Sinazo Dywili, Anesisa Tyaliti and Sisabda Mzamo about where to report cases of domestic abuse.

Ilitha Labantu partnered with Samora Machel police officers for a motorcade against gender-based violence.

The Uthuleleni awareness campaign was organised to encourage women, in particular, to break the culture of silence and Ilitha Labantu vowed to also work with other police stations to combat this kind of abuse.

The organisation said they wanted to see a society that protects and ensures that women feel safe.

Its media liaison, Siyabulela Monakali, said gender-based violence awareness should become part of everyday life until such a time where there are no cases of GBV reported.

Mr Monakali said through the campaign they were urging women not to stay in abusive relationships but rather to seek help; and appealing to abusers to stop their destructive behaviour.

He said young boys should be taught at an early age that women are not objects that you toy with.

“We want to have communities where there is no case of women found raped and killed. We want to have a society that protects women from all sorts of abuse,” he said.

“We want to create an environment where women are free to be who they want to be. We hope that those found abusing women would receive harsh punishment. It makes no sense to abuse the person that you claim to love.

Men, step and be protector of our women. Women live in fear because they do not know when would they be abused or killed.”

Mr Monakali said the fight against gender-based violence required everyone to play their part and not stand on the sidelines.

Samora Machel station commander captain Elliot Sinyangana, said their role as police officers was to ensure that everyone lived in a safe space but added that police officers alone would not be able to deal with crime.

Young woman, Siphesihle Tukwana said it was sad that old and young women constantly lived in fear of being raped and abused and that it was a shame that some men were not doing anything about it.

She said in these times girls did not have freedom of movement because they constantly feared being raped and killed.

Particularly scary, she said, as that perpetrators were often people close to them, and whom they trusted.