142. That is the disheartening average number of sexual offenses recorded daily according to the 2015/16 annual police statistics report. In addition, according to the South African Police Service (SAPS), 15,790 rapes perpetrated against children were recorded in 2015/2016. During this same time frame, more than 19 children were murdered in Cape Town alone.
All of this violence has created a public outcry, although the situation is nothing new. Year after year the violence rates against women and children, including rape and murder, have been extremely high. Rape has become a way of life in South Africa, according to the Health System Trust.
According to a New Age Newspaper article published on the 31st May 2017, 63 women were killed this year in the month of May alone. The media has embraced these alarming statistics, and South Africans everywhere have been engaging with the topic via social media. Very symbolic hashtags such as #MenAreTrash and #NotAllMen have been trending. However, hashtags alone are not remotely enough to remedy the situation.
“So, what can be done to address the outbreak of gender-based violence in South Africa?”
Women and children are very vulnerable in our patriarchal society. Violence against these marginalized groups, should it be sexual, physical or psychological in nature, is a violation of human dignity and a threat to social cohesion.
To address this human rights issue, Africa Unite believes in raising awareness within the communities. In response, we have decided to do the following activities:
- Run a social media campaign starting from Tuesday the 13th of June. We will be asking for your support. You can connect with us on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.
- Silent demonstrations starting from the 19th of June.
- Information sessions on gender-based violence, targeting young boys and girls in schools.
How can you join Africa Unite in this social media campaign?
- Take a picture of yourself holding a placard with your recommendations (solutions, way forward, action plan) to end violence against women and children.
- Post the picture on your own Facebook and/or Twitter account.
- Don’t forget to tag Africa Unite and to use the hashtag:
#EndViolenceAgainstWomenAndChildren. It will enable us to find your post and share it on our own page.