When will we end the violence against our women?

2014-11-30 15:30

On November 21, as I was sitting in the public gallery of Parliament on a warm and windy morning in Cape Town waiting for the debate on the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children to begin, I started thinking of how sick and tired I am of the rivers of tears, mountains of heartache, and forests of broken people and families.

I learnt that, according to a KPMG report, gender-based violence has cost the state R28.4?billion.

What more needs to happen until we take meaningful action against ruthless and heartless actions?

How many of our sisters and aunts are we going to plant six feet underground to prematurely rest for all eternity until we have had enough?

How many broken bones, dislocated knees and shoulders, torn noses and swollen faces do we have to look at until we have had enough?

How is Africa going to get up from her knees when large numbers of men are poisoning her future? Children who suffer from these nefarious acts are left with lifelong psychological scarring, including school/learning problems, behaviour problems, eating disorders, poor self-esteem and issues collectively known as rape trauma syndrome.

How morally bankrupt is the man who, instead of respecting, protecting and learning from the old, takes advantage and tortures their souls? How ethically embarrassed are we when a 32-year-old adult takes the innocence of a child before her first words, never mind her first steps?

We have to make a commitment to promote positive attitudes and behaviours towards women and to intervene safely to prevent violence against women as and when it is needed.

It is time for all dignified, compassionate, brave and self-respecting men and boys to take the pledge to never commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women.

If you are interested in playing a more significant role, visit http://whiteribbon.co.za and get in touch with the world’s largest male-led movement to end men’s violence against women.

Ayanda Khonzi

Cape Town

Khonzi is a White Ribbon ambassador

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