Gender-based violence and femicide has become a widespread phenomenon that has entrenched almost every community in South Africa.
Gundo Ash, Gauteng Community Safety Intern says our country holds the most shameful distinction of being one of the most unsafe places in the world and It is worrying that this gender-based violence has been dubbed a second pandemic in our country as it affects mostly women and children.
“There is a thin line between abuse and love, and it’s high time women stop confusing the two words. A man who loves you will protect, profess, and provide for you not the other way around. Culture dictates that we must love one another as human beings,” says Ash.
Ash says there are certain cultures that believe that men are bound to beat women as a way of reprimanding them if they are wrong or demanding respect.
“Substance abuse has been found to be a major contributing factor in the rising cases of gender-based violence and femicide in Gauteng,”
Gauteng province has 16 hotspots of sexual assaults. These hotspots being Tembisa, Orange Farm, Mamelodi, Diepkloof, Orlando, Alexandre, Dobsonville, Eldorado Park, Moroka, Rietgat, Honeydew, Tsakane, Kagiso, Mamelodi East, Hillbrow and Temba.
The Department of Community Safety has adopted a 365-day integrated strategic plan against the violence of women and children.
“The department has in place various interventions such as Green Doors, Gender-Based Violence Brigades, Men As Safety Promoters, Women As Safety Promoters and Youth Crime Prevention Desk,” says Ash.
Ash says the department have recruited, screened, and inducted 620 GBV Brigades.
“This has assisted in heightening the level of awareness on GBV in communities. It is extremely disturbing that sexual offences have increased. 40 000 households have been visited by the GBV Brigades for psycho-social support. The fight against GBV must not only be fought in communities, many young women in institutions of higher learning are victims of this pandemic,”
Ash added that if men do not mend their ways of doing things and change their behavior towards women, then we are doomed as a nation.