Premier Stan Mathabatha’s message to people attending the launch of the 16 Days of Activism Against Women and Child Abuse was that no child deserves to be with an uncaring parent and that they instead deserve love, care and support.
Mathabatha addressed communities from Sekhukhune district at the Schoonoord-Peter Nchabeleng Sport Ground during the launch of the campaign themed ‘Count me in: Together Moving a Non-violence South Africa Forward’ on Tuesday.
The campaign takes place every year from 25 November to 10 December. These dates also include International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women, International Human Rights Day, Universal Children’s Day and World Aids Day.
“This is an important campaign to raise awareness about the unacceptable scourge of abuse which is targeted at the most vulnerable members of the community. In most cases women and children suffer abuse at the hands of men who happen to be physically stronger than their victims. In the past men used their strength to protect women and children but today we are witnessing ugly episodes of men abusing their physical strength. Real men are protectors, not abusers,” Mathabatha said. “The truth is that real men will never raise a hand against a woman or a child and those who do so are not worthy to be called men,” he said.
Mathabatha also emphasised the importance that the campaign should be celebrated throughout the year and to create awareness every single day on women and child abuse. “Violence against women and children undermines many constitutional rights including the right to life, the right to freedom of movement and the right to bodily integrity. We know that many stories of abuse such as rape, sexual harassment and emotional, financial and physical abuse remain untold. We must not keep mum,” he said.
He concluded by saying that society needed to recommit to working towards a violence free environment and that there should be no place to hide for abusers.
Story: RC Myburgh