Violence raises bullies

2018-01-24 06:00
Moeti Molelekoa, social observer

Moeti Molelekoa, social observer

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In Hosea 4:2, God accuses everyone in the land, stating no one is faithful or loyal.

Cursing, dishonesty, murder, robbery, lying, stealing and committing adultery and unfaithfulness, these happen all the time. Violence is everywhere, says the Lord.

While not all human beings are corrupt, we live in a society where corruption, murder, rape, women abuse and bullying at schools are rife.

There is violence and chaos almost everywhere, even in parliament where crucial decisions about our country and our future should be debated peacefully and soberly.

Domestic violence and bullying at schools are intertwined. Bullying at schools is an after-effect of domestic violence. Bullies have taken after their parents and are growing up witnessing domestic violence.

The South African Medical Research Council released a study in 1998 revealing that out of the 1 394 men interviewed, 50% physically abused their female partners at home.

About 160 000 high school learners bunk school daily to avoid being bullied. Thousands of others drop out of school due to bullying.

A study done by the World Health Organisation revealed that about 60 000 women and children are victims of domestic violence in South Africa.

Nearly half of the murders of women which occurred in 1999 in South Africa were related to domestic violence. The percentage of women that reported domestic violence is as high as 59%.

In our schools, there seems to be no solution to bullying despite the education ministry’s efforts, inclu­ding to have zero tolerance towards it. The legal framework is complicated, with conflicting rights and responsibilities. There are both the School’s and Children’s Acts in place.

Due to complexity and a confusing network, schools and other educational institutions often find themselves in the undesirable and impossible position of being found to be legally liable for a failure to act correctly in either preventing bullying or reacting to it.

Girls are also sexually assaulted by teachers and other staff members at school.

In 1998, South Africa created the Domestic Violence Act to try to protect those who are being abused. The biggest relief for women comes in the form of protection orders.

In schools, bullying, which transgresses the school’s code of conduct, is punishable under criminal law.

Both women and children are victims of domestic violence, while children also become victims of bullying at schools, which is supposed to be safe havens.
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