Domestic violence not a private matter - Zuma

2015-11-25 17:29
President Jacob Zuma. (Gianluigi Guercia, AFP)

President Jacob Zuma. (Gianluigi Guercia, AFP)

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Johannesburg - It is not a private matter when a man beats his wife or girlfriend, President Jacob Zuma said on Wednesday.

"It is a serious crime," he said during the launch of the 2015 campaign of 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children.

"Our country takes this crime very seriously. We have declared it a priority crime. All community members must treat it equally seriously."

Attacks on women and children were a gross violation of their rights, Zuma said, adding that women should report cases of abuse and violence.

"Do not protect the perpetrators. Family members and neighbours must also work with the police to catch the culprits."

Socio-economic conditions made women vulnerable, with unemployment forcing some women to stay in abusive relationships, he said.

"If a woman depends on the abuser for housing and general living expenses, they are unlikely to act and report a violent partner to the police or to walk out on them to protect their lives and that of the children," said Zuma.

"Women are also marginalised in terms of access to land, credit and finance, which makes them prone to violence and abuse."

The president said he had instructed the economic cluster of ministers to ensure that all programmes contained activities that were beneficial to women.

Violence against women and children could not be isolated or removed from the general problem of violence in the country.

Some people used violence to achieve their goals, said Zuma.

"Even when protesting, which is a democratic right, some of our people will resort to violence and violate the rights of others.

"We need to confront this problem and begin to eradicate the culture of violence," he said.

Work within the security cluster to assist in stopping violence against women was continuing. 

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  johannesburg  |  child abuse  |  16 days of activism

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