It has to stop now!

By admin
05 December 2013

The violence against children and women in South Africa is reaching crisis point and we need to act now, says Zelda la Grange, who is blogging for YOU during the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign.

Foto: www.rowenawaack.com via Compfight cc Foto: www.rowenawaack.com via Compfight cc

During the early 2000s South Africa was hard at work battling the HIV/Aids pandemic. We realised we’d given the problem too little attention and infection rates had increased to the point where 700 to 800 people were dying of Aids-related diseases every day. The government had denied the seriousness of the situation.

Two things are very clear when I think back to that time and how it has something in common with the present situation of violence against women and children in South Africa. The first is that we fall into a “wait and see what happens” rut and allow a crisis similar to the HIV/Aids pandemic to take on massive proportions before we really do something about it. We do something only when statistics become shocking.

How many more women must experience what Anene Booysen or Ina Bonnette went through before we do something about the violence women and children are dealing with?

The second thing that’s clear is that when dealing with violence against women and children we’re not culturally schooled to talk respectfully and seriously about sex in our families and social environment.

This was also one of the problems with HIV/Aids. It’s taboo to talk about sex and adults avoid it when children are involved. We can’t address a problem if we don’t speak about it openly.

Today the government at least provides anti-retroviral drugs to the public, but there’s no medication for a child or woman’s soul that has to carry the scars of violence or rape for ever.

How long before we do something practical about the problem?

Zelda picSMALL-Zelda

Zelda la Grange, private secretary to ex-president Nelson Mandela, is blogging for YOU during the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign. Sheworks with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and does motivational talks. She is also active with projects such as Bikers for Mandela Day and Sisters with Blisters in her role as patron for the 1st for Women Insurance Trust.

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