Women band together to raise awareness about gender-based violence

Members of SAPS, Thembilihle Home-based Care, GRIP and community members raise awareness of gender-based violence.

KAMAQHEKEZA – A GBV blitz was hosted in the area on August 31 by the Mpumalanga office of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), to inform the public about the various programmes government has in place to assist victims.

Members of the GCIS, Tonga SAPS, Greater Rape Intervention Programme (GRIP) and Thembilihle Home-based Care Centre shared their views on GBV and how it can be resolved.

Capt Constance Shembeni, Joy Themba, Nonthuthuzelo Jas and Poppy Maluka from GCIS.

Members of the community gave their opinions about how these cases can be dealt with and stressed that these problems could only be stopped by working together.

Capt Constance Shembeni mentioned some of the challenges Tonga SAPS have identified.
“Foreign nationals rape people and leave the country, traditional healers rape people who come to them for help, mostly from Swaziland. Another element is that our sisters go report things that did not happen to source income (getting paid to drop the case). Young girls are forced to get married to older men by families looking for money. Mothers must be aware of where their children are at all times. There are many social events every weekend and substance abuse is a problem, so youth are easy targets,” she said.

READ: Two arrested in connection with hitchhiker’s rape

According to Ms Poppy Maluka of the GCIS, the cases escalate every day and the government wants awareness to be created on a daily basis. They hope to educate people on the effect of GBV in communities and encourage them to stand against it.

“The very same people abused are the people who must contribute positively in the society. If they are damaged physically, emotionally it limits them to make this country a better place to live in. Take care of the person next to you, you will need them one day,” she concluded.

READ: Take legal steps to stop domestic violence

  AUTHOR
Casper Mhlanga

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