16 Days of Activism against Women and Child Abuse
25 November marks the beginning of 16 days of activism against women and child abuse, a 16-day campaign (from 25 November to 10 December) that creates awareness around the violence that women and children face.
Violence against women and children is a huge issue all over the world. Did you know that, worldwide, one in three women face abuse, violence and rape every day? That’s a really shocking statistic chomas.
When it comes to violent crimes and sexual assault, women and children are more at risk. It’s unfortunate chomas, but it’s a fact.
So by creating awareness during these 16 days of activism, people all over the world join in to help take a stand against violence and abuse.
This is not the first campaign, the first one started in 1991 but South Africa adopted it in 1998. A little later, but still good that this campaign has been taking place here. Especially because South Africa actually has one of the highest amount of abuse against women and children – particularly against women.
The effects of violence against women and children
Violence against women and children doesn’t just affect people for a moment, it has long lasting effects. A lot of the times women are not empowered – they are taught to believe that men are the ones who hold the power, get the education and go out to work. A women’s main role is often to look after the family. Women in abusive homes and relationships don’t always know how to get out and sometimes are not able to get out because they rely on a man financially. Violence contributes to disempowering women and children. Children who witness violence or are victims of violence might experience difficulty throughout their lives and may even continue the cycle of violence when they are adults.
Why violence against women and children needs to end.
Did you know that there are some parts of South Africa where women think that violence against women and children is acceptable? Women and children need to know their rights as human beings. Violent people often use their power and authority to take advantage of the position that women and children have in society, and victims often believe that they really do have no power.
Silence around abuse just allows abuse to spread, we all need to speak up about it in order for the violence to end and to stop giving power to abusers.
What can you do?
You can start by wearing the white ribbon during the 16-day campaign. The white ribbon symbolises peace and also means that you don’t support violence and commit to not being violent towards others.
You can also volunteer in groups that support abused women and children.
Report abuse – whether you witness it or are a victim of it, don’t be silent.
Encourage your friends to talk about abuse and to take a stand against it.
Abuse is not normal or acceptable. If your friends joke about it or say that women and children deserve the abuse, don’t encourage their behaviour chomas. Abuse is wrong, in any form.
If you’re a victim of abuse (emotional, physical or sexual abuse), don’t be afraid to seek help.
Stop Gender Based Violence helpline: 0800 150 150
Childline: 0800 055 555
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