Gauteng has experienced some of the most horrific incidents of rape and brutal killings in recent times. I write against the backdrop of calamities that befell the families of Karabo Mokoena, Lerato Moloi, Jeannette Cindi just to mention but a fewat the hands of spineless men.
It is indeed worrying and shameful to witness it within out Province. Many of these young women were raped and burnt beyond recognition which seems to be an ongoing trend lately.
The most recent reports in the media on violence against women depict the continuous challenges women face in their homes and at the hands of their loved ones.
The physical and emotional abuse of women is a grave violation of human rights which leaves short or long term scars.
The law enforcement agencies are hard at work to ensure the perpetrators of violence against women are brought to book and dealt with accordingly. In the process of dealing with the perpetrators, our law enforcement agencies are compromised because some women are not resolute.
On the one hand, they raise alarm for law to take its course, on the other, succumb to manipulation and beg the law enforcement officers to withdraw the charges.
These are some of the challenges we need to address as a society in general. The violence against women takes the character of a vicious cycle. One incident of abuse leads to another.
The fight against women abuse needs social cohesion with its constituent elements that include social inclusion, social capital and social mobility. The significance of the faith based organisations, non-governmental organisations can never go unnoticed.
As a society, we need to strengthen the role played by the above- mentioned stakeholders and as a collective begin to walk the talk in our quest to eradicate this monstrous behavior.
A big applause to those resolute women who amid the numerous attempts to be manipulated by their abusive partners and husbands stand ground and soldier on to ensure the perpetrators receive the full might of the law. The Gauteng Provincial government has various Victim Empowerment Centres (VEC’s) which are havens for abused women. The officials at the victim empowerment centers are trained personnel who offer professional support services thus restoring dignity and instilling hope to those who have been subjected to physical abuse and gross emotional turbulences. I call upon men to be protectors of their families and society at large.
A drastic paradigm shift is required as a matter of urgency in dealing with matters that relate to violence against women. Let love and common decency characterise the manner in which we treat each other as reasonable and self-respecting human beings.