South African Government

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16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children

25 Nov 2013 to 10 Dec 2013

Don't look away, act against abuse

16 Day os Activism banner

Background
2013 activities
What can you do
What is government doing
Government messages
Where to get help

Background

The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children is an international campaign. It takes place every year from 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) to 10 December (International Human Rights Day). The period includes Universal Children’s Day and World AIDS Day.

During this time, the South African Government runs a 16 Days of Activism Campaign to make people aware of the negative impact of violence on women and children and to act against abuse. We are firmly committed to lead a coordinated effort to sustain the campaign into its next decade.

Every year, government, civil-society organisations and the business sector work together to broaden the impact of the campaign. By supporting this campaign, thousands of South Africans have also helped to increase awareness of abuse and build support for victims and survivors of abuse.

2013 activities

What can you do?

Together, let us take actions to support the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign.

  • Support the campaign by wearing the white ribbon during the 16-day period: A white ribbon is a symbol of peace and symbolises the commitment of the wearer to never commit or condone violence against women and children.
  • Join the cyber dialogues initiative: The cyber dialogues facilitate on-line discussions amongst people to discuss issues related to the abuse of women and children, share experiences and propose solutions.Professional experts in the caring professions (social workers, psychologists, counsellors) and political principals also participate in the on-line chatroom.The discussion takes place in cyber space in chat-room format, with discussions in real time via various access points (Thusong Centres) around the country. Gender Links (an NGO) hosts the cyber dialogues with role players, including Women’s Net, the Gender Advocacy Programme and Government Communications (GCIS).
  • Participate in the various 16 Days of Activism events and activities: A calendar outlining events taking place around the country over the period of the 16 days will be made available.
  • Volunteer in support of NGOs and community groups who support abused women and children: Many organisations need assistance from the public. You can volunteer your time and make a contribution to the work of institutions. Help plant a garden at a shelter, sponsor plastic tables and chairs for kids at a clinic or join an organisation as a counsellor. Use your skills and knowledge to help the victims of abuse.
  • Donations: You can donate money to organisations working to end violence against women and children by making a contribution to the Foundation for Human Rights. The Foundation receives money raised during the campaign and distributes it to non-governmental organisations. There is no minimum or maximum amount set for your donation it is up to you! Tel: 011 339 5560/1/2/3/4/5.
  • Speak out against woman and child abuse.
    • Encourage silent female victims to talk about abuse and ensure that they get help.
    • Report child abuse to the police.
    • Encourage children to report bully behaviour to school authorities.
    • Men and boys are encouraged to talk about abuse and actively discourage abusive behaviour.
    • Seek help if you are emotionally, physically or sexually abusive to your partner and/or children. Call the Stop Gender Based Violence helpline (0800 150 150).
    • Talk to friends, relatives and colleagues to take a stand against abuse of women and children.
    • Try and understand how your own attitudes and actions might perpetuate sexism and violence.
  • Join community policing forums (CPFs).The community and the local police stations are active partners in ensuring local safety and security. The goal is to bring about effective crime prevention by launching intelligence-driven crime-prevention projects in partnership with the local community.You may want to also become a  reservist, a member of the community who volunteers his/her services and time to support local policing efforts to fight crime. For  more information on how to join, contact your local police station.

What is government doing?

  • Government is establishing a Council on Violence against Women and Children. The Advisory Council will comprise of key government departments, civil society organisations and other relevant partners. It will coordinate comprehensive initiatives implemented to stop the scourge.
  • The Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill (Draft) will provide government with the legislative authority to fast-track the empowerment of women and address issues of enforcement and compliance towards the attainment of our target of 50/50 gender parity.
  • Development of a barometer to measure the number of women who will benefit from the five million jobs that we seek to create in the next 10 years under the New Growth Path, will highlight the high impact of unemployment on women.
  • Government provides support to children to fight child poverty.
    • More than 10,5 million children benefit from the child support grant, while we provide foster care benefits to over 563 000 vulnerable children.
    • Government subsidises close to 800 000 children at early childhood development centres to enable children from poor households to obtain early education. In addition, more than eight million children at primary and secondary schools benefit from school-feeding schemes.
  • On 6 June 2011, Government launched the Strategy and Guidelines on Children Working and Living in the Streets [PDF]. This Strategy provides guidance on the services and programmes to be rendered to children living and working in the streets.
  • The Expanded Public Works Programme and a community works programme provide short-term employment opportunities while also responding to pressing community challenges.
  • The Green Paper on Families [PDF] seeks to strengthen and support families as the cornerstone of a well-functioning society.
  • Government led a national Rural Women’s Summit in May 2011 to empower women with information on how to access various departmental programmes. With the help of Government, women in Tzaneen run successful farms, mining as well as arts and crafts projects. These projects employ a number of people and their products are sold in domestic and foreign markets.
  • Since 1994, Government has developed several pieces of legislation to redress the wrongs affecting women and children.

Government messages

Enough is enough: We call on everyone to play their part and s prevent violence against women, children and people with disabilities

  • No woman, man or child should be beaten, raped, stabbed, shot or attacked in any manner anywhere in our country.
  • Those who abuse, rape and murder have no place in our communities.
  • Working together with police, prosecutors and courts we can ensure that these criminals are arrested and convicted.
  • Report, tell - don’t look away.
  • The 16 Days campaign mobilises all sectors of society to end the cycle of violence against women, children and people with disabilities.
  • Government wants to use the campaign to heighten awareness and empower communities to act to prevent abuse and to ensure a safer society for all, especially women, children and other vulnerable groups.

Government is committed to making our communities safe for all

  • There is legislation in place that specifically addresses violence and abuse of women and children.
  • The work of the police in protecting the most vulnerable has further been strengthened by the re-establishment of Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences units.
  • Plans are afoot to re-launch Sexual Offences Courts to help cut the backlogs of sexual offences cases.
  • The established National Council against Gender-Based Violence has been setting up structures and building capacity to provide strategic leadership, coordination and management of gender-based violence initiatives in South Africa.
  • Thuthuzela care centres, which are located in various areas throughout the country, enable rape victims to lodge a case with the police, receive counselling and medical care in one facility.
  • Anti-Gender Based Violence interventions and social programmes on prevention, response, support, coordination and communication, as well as advocacy are implemented across government.

Families and communities have the primary duty to protect their children from harm

  • Creating a safe and secure environment for children is a shared responsibility of parents, caregivers, organisations and all sectors of the society.
  • Irresponsible parents/guardians who leave young children unattended and vulnerable to abuse are as guilty of crime as those who commit the crime.
  • The fight against alcohol and illegal substance abuse and trafficking must continue, as it is one of the root causes of domestic violence, abuse, rape and killings.
  • Government support parents in their role to provide and care for their children through its extensive social security programme:

Where to get help

  • What if you are abused [PDF]
  • Counselling and support for women
    • 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
  • Counselling and support for children
    • Childline 0800 055 555
  • Social Security
    • Child support grants 0800 601 011
  • Healthcare
    • Marie Stopes clinics 0800 11 77 85
    • Depression and Anxiety Group 011 783 1474
    • AIDS Helpline 0800 012 322
    • AID for AIDS 0860 100 646
  • Legal assistance
    • Legal Aid Board 011 845 4311
    • Lawyers for Human Rights 011 339 1960
  • Campaigns for men who support no violence
    • Men as Partners Project 011 833 0504
  • Information
    • Sexual Harassment Education Project 011 403 0541
    • Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation 011 403 5650
  • South African Police Service

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