Prevention in Action event helps to end violence against women

2011-11-28 00:00

“WHAT can end violence against women?” chanted over 1 500 people at a Prevention in Action event on Saturday at Durban’s Workshop. “My action is the answer,” was the reply.

Prevention In Action (PIA) is a social change movement that encourages community groups to take action to prevent violence against women in the eThekwini Municipality district and propagates that violence against women is never justified nor should it be tolerated in homes.

The event was to highlight community champions who have implemented actions to prevent violence against women and motivate change.

For example, one of the champions, Clarice Mkhize, organised a meeting between the abusive partner and the relatives of the couple after noticing and talking to a fellow commuter who was crying in a taxi with her face covered in bruises.

“Despite the knowledge that violence against women is a serious and widespread problem in our society, there are a great number of women and girls across the KwaZulu-Natal province who are still living under the daily threat of violence,” said Cookie Edwards, the executive director of the KwaZulu-Natal Network on Violence against Women.

“Violence is accepted as the norm in our homes and communities, and the negative impact it can have on the lives of women and girls will continue as a result of community inaction.

“Violence against women is not just a women’s issue, as men have a crucial role to play in challenging this harmful gender norm. Our actions should send a loud and clear message that our society condemns and abhors violence against women.”

In 2009, the project started with a mere 60 people who were trained on using action to prevent violence and then disseminated the message into their communities. Today PIA has equipped over 8 000 members with the tools and knowledge to take safe, effective action in ways that are relevant, unique and acceptable to them and their community to prevent violence against women.

For more information or to join in the fight against violence against women, visit www.facebook.com/PreventionInAction.

• tharuna.devchand@witness.co.za

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