16 Days of Activism campaign begins

2016-11-17 06:01
PHOTO: supplied The 16 Days of Activism For No Violence Against Women and Children begins on 25 November and ends on 10 December.

PHOTO: supplied The 16 Days of Activism For No Violence Against Women and Children begins on 25 November and ends on 10 December.

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THE 16 Days of Activism For No Violence Against Women and Children begins next Thursday and there’s one message the Port Shepstone Family, Child and Sexual Offences (FCS) Unit would like to echo in the community - “say no to abuse and do not accept excuses from the offenders. Report abuse and do not withdraw cases.”

Captain Kishor Giani of the FCS Unit said their mandate is to investigate, highlight and prevent cases of family violence, child protection and sexual offences.

“We do this through the investigation of criminal dockets, inquiries and outreach programmes,” he said.

On average 80 cases of domestic violence­ are reported a month.

“Victims normally stay in these relationships as there is no other means of financial support, where the offender is the breadwinner,” said Giani.

There have even been a few rape cases against ex-partners, which have been withdrawn after the accused was arrested.

“The victims insist on withdrawing the case as they say they were angry and have since resolved issues or forgiven the offenders,” he said.

Sergeant Ruwaida Khan of the Domestic Violence section said victims of domestic violence rarely leave their partners.

“Most come back to report repeat incidents of domestic violence and stay with the abusers,” she said.

When it comes to offenders being rehabilitated, she said the domestic violence­ section has never seen a case where an offender stops abusing his partner.

“No such cases have been seen by Domestic Violence where the abuser actually stops abusing his partner,” she added.

When it comes to child abuse, about 20 cases are reported every month.

Giani said it was possible that there are some cases that go unreported as family, neighbours and community members don’t want to “get involved”.

“Whistle-blowers can remain anonymous,” said Giani.

After a case of child abuse is reported, statements are taken, a medical examination is conducted, the necessary experts are summoned, offenders are arrested and children are removed if they are at risk.

“Counselling is provided to victims through the local hospital, Department of Social Development and Child Welfare, Childline and Bobbi Bear,” said Giani.

If you know of any child abuse or if you are a victim of domestic violence call:

• SAPS - 10111

• Childline - 08000 55555

• Stop Women Abuse - 0800 150 150

The 16 Days campaign, which South Africa adopted in 1998, has been used as an organising strategy by individuals and groups around the world to call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women by:

• raising awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at the local, national, regional and international levels;

• strengthening local work around violence against women;

• establishing a clear link between local and international work to end violence against women;

• providing a forum in which organisers can develop and share new and effective strategies;

• demonstrating the solidarity of women around the world organising against violence against women; and

• creating tools to pressure governments to implement promises made to eliminate violence against women.

Follow all the campaign’s events on its Facebook page: the official 16 days of activism against gender violence campaign.

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