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16 Days of Activism: Peace in the home and peace in the world

Advice and Events

Violence against innocent people is a violation of human rights. In South Africa and around the world, many women and children are beaten, raped, abused and ill-treated every day.

As caring and concerned citizens, we cannot sit back and let this happen. Each and every person must play their part to stop the violence in their communities.  This message comes from the Department for Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities (WCPD) through the 16 Days of Activism Against Woman and Child Abuse campaign. The campaign is a United Nations initiative, which is observed every year from 25 November to 10 December.

Human rights

This year’s theme is “Peace in the home and Peace in the world.” It serves to raise awareness of the negative impact of violence on women and children and on society as a whole, emphasising the fact that if we grow up and live in peaceful homes, we will be peace-loving people.

According to WCPD Minister Lulu Xingwana, a woman who is abused at home, cannot be at peace. “South Africa cannot attain a peaceful democracy as long as there are women and children suffering under violence and abuse.”

Speaking out

Studies have shown that the campaign has managed to increse awareness, especially in rural areas, by 33 per cent. It has also encourage and assisted more women and victims to speak out. “Women have broken the culture of violence and they are speaking out and reporting these crimes. They are no longer sitting back,” said Minister Xingwana.

A major problem in curbing violence against women and children has been fear of reporting perpetrators. To better assist victims, justice officials across the country have undergone training and awareness workshops to equip them with skills on how to deal with victims of such crimes. This has led to an increase in the number of cases that have been reported.

What you can do
  • Show your support for NO violence against women and children by wearing a white ribbon – the international symbol for the 16 Days of Activism.
  • Don’t keep quiet if you know someone who is abused – speak out.
  • If you are a victim of abuse, you must report your abuser – speak to the police, a social worker, healthcare worker or someone you trust. If you fear the person who abuses you, you can ask the police for protection.
Violence against innocent people is a violation of human rights.
 
 

Where to get help:

Counselling and support for women and children:

  • National Crisis Helpline (Lifeline): 0861 322 322
  • Stop Gender-Based Violence Helpline: 0800 150 150
  • People Opposed to Women Abuse: 011 642 4345
  • Family and Marriage Society of South Africa: 012 460  0733
  • National Network on Violence Against Women: 012 321 4959
  • Childline: 0800 055 555

Legal assistance

  • Legal Aid Board: 011 845 4311
  • Lawyers for Human Rights: 011 339 1960

SAPS

  • National Police Emergency:  10111
  • Crime Stop: 08600 10111