Over the years, South Africans have seen crimes committed against women – rape, domestic violence, GBV, femicide – escalate with little consequences for perpetrators. South African women are living in fear.
Sierra D. Waters captures this serious matter perfectly in her memoir titled, Debbie, and says, “Today I wore a pair of faded old jeans and a plain grey baggy shirt. I hadn’t even taken a shower, and I did not put on an ounce of makeup. I grabbed a worn-out black over sized jacket to cover myself with even though it is warm outside. I have made conscious decisions lately to look like less of what I felt a male would want to see. I want to disappear!”
This is a feeling most women have lived with most of their lives – wishing for a break from womanhood, which is more often than not synonymous with an invitation to be objectified. But life doesn’t operate that way. So, the only ‘protection’ one has is to adopt self-defence skills and strategies to avert danger if and when it does come rearing its ugly head. It’s now more critical than ever to acquire self-defence skills for protection from physical harm.