Head of Gauteng Department of Community Safety Nontsikelelo Sisulu says getting some men to open up among other men about issues of gender-based violence (GBV) remains a challenge. Sisulu was speaking at Klipfontein View, near Tembisa, east of Johannesburg, during a dialogue session with men on GBV.
The dialogue is aimed at finding creative ways on how to end the scourge of GBV as today marks the end of the 16 Days of No Violence against Women and Children Campaign.
Sisulu says the activism campaign goes beyond the 16 days as she requests men to be advocates to no violence against women and children.
“Having men, have the conversation without them feeling like they won’t be seen as less than amongst themselves. So you find that in their own space, they are not even able to speak up. When they are in society, they feel they need to conform to the gender-stereotypical norms that say, ‘you have to provide, you have to be macho, you have to be strong, you don’t have to cry’. And that is not what it is supposed to be,” says Sisulu.
GBV 16 days of activism I Victims of GBV do not feel safe to report cases
‘Government not doing enough’
Meanwhile, some Gender-Based Violence victims say the government isn’t doing enough to support and protect them.
The victims from Tlokweng Village in the Moses Kotane local municipality expressed this during an event to mark the end of 16 Days of Activism Against Women and Children Abuse attended by North West Premier Bushy Maape, Social Development MEC Boitumelo Moiloa and Public Safety MEC Sello Lehari.
The village has been flagged as one of the GBV hotspots in the province.
19-year old Themba Mogonediwa is one of the many victims of gender-based violence at Tlokweng Village. He’s also a member of the LGBTQI Plus community. He says he was out partying with friends and drinking when he blacked out. He says he was raped during that time.
“I vomited and after that, I don’t know what happened. I woke up in the background of a salon and after that, I ran to my friend’s boyfriend and told her everything that happened.”
Education and information
Mogonediwa says the lack of awareness campaigns by government makes such incidents to be treated lightly by the police. He says victims need education and information on the dos and don’ts, after being physically abused.
“At the clinic and the hospital, they must tell people after being abused that they must not bath or go to the toilet because those things are giving more proof on the case of being abused.”
Efforts to fight GBV
The Provincial Government has acknowledged shortcomings in its efforts to fight GBV. Premier Bushy Maape says more still needs to be done.
“We need these constant visits by the officials to the victims. They also complained that the police station is too far. We are going to have to look at this.”
According to the Department of Social Development, out of the 77 cases of gender-based violence reported in the Bojanala District Municipality, 46 are from Tlokweng village.
MEC Boitumelo Moiloa says they have put measures in place to curb the scourge. “We start with door-to-door, educate our people. We have men’s forum, we have the young boys’ assembly; because we also have to nurture a boy child. We need to educate them that girls are your peers.”
The Government also says the fight against Gender-Based Violence must be an all-year-round activity — and not only during the 16 Days of Activism. -Additional reporting by Keadimilwe Moalusi
The scourge of GBV on women and children’s mental health: Dr Yumna Minty