The annual 16 Days of Activism Campaign started on November 25 and will last until December 10. During this time, South Africans are asked to show their support against women and child abuse by speaking-out and reporting abuse immediately and get help.
Show your support
People can also show their support by adding their voice to the campaign by wearing a white ribbon during the 16 Days. You can also send an SMS with the words “16 days” to 31616. Your SMS will help raise funds for non-governmental organisations that help women and children dealing with abuse. Each SMS will cost you R5. There are also postcards to be signed and sent for the campaign.
Sibongiseni Mngomezulu of Alexandra, Johannesburg is one of the men to be honest about his past. He wrote that he lives with the guilt of having been an abusive man.
“I have vowed that I will never lift my fists to a woman or a child. I have declared zero-tolerance on rape and all forms of violence. I come from a traditional family which taught me that a man is the head of the house.
“When I was growing up I misunderstood this culture, saw women as sex objects and my punching bags,” he said. He is now the director of Immaculate Theatre Production, a theatre company that deals with social issues including women and child abuse.
Wilson Mathathe used to beat his wife up even though she was the bread-winner. Today he says: “I am learning that you don’t need violence to solve your problems.”