South African newspapers are generally dominated by sad and horrifying news, but even more so in the past two weeks.  Just after we celebrated women’s month, in just a few days, multiple young women and children had been either kidnapped, raped, killed, or all of the above.  The violent and tragic deaths sparked outcry from South Africa, and protesters took to the streets to demand protection for our women and children and justice for those who had lost their lives.

The femicide numbers in South Africa are five times the global rate. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 12.1 in every 100 000 women are victims of femicide in SA each year.
This points to deep-rooted issues in our society, and it’s not a fight we as women can fight alone. The men in our communities need to step up to help combat the gender-based violence that is rife in our society.

How can women stay safe in the streets? This comprehensive list at https://www.instructables.com/id/Basic-Street-Safety-for-Women/ will give you all the tips you need.

What can we do to keep our children safe?

AlbertonRecord shared some great tips from the Pink Ladies here

  • Keep the lines of communication open between you and your children. They should know your cell phone number, home phone number, as well as their own address.
  • Don’t take anything from strangers. It’s quite a common saying but not enough of an implemented rule. If a stranger offers anything to your kids, they should check with you first. In your absence, it’s best they don’t accept at all.
  • Keep friends close. If your child is going to a place they’ve never been to before or aren’t that well familiar with, it’s advisable they take a trusted friend along.
  • Decline the odd job offer. Kids aren’t likely to receive job offers, so consider it strange if your child does. Tell them to always turn them down – even if it’s simply a request for assistance with something.
  • Tell them they can trust you. The best relationship between a parent and their child is when they trust you enough to share anything with you that makes them feel uncomfortable. It’s important to know when something or someone is bothering your child.
  • Make them understand you’re not deliberately spying. If your child is still young and vulnerable, it could be a good idea to monitor their time spent online – that’s where the predators usually lurk. Just make it clear it’s not an excuse for you to snoop through their private messages or interactions.
  • Speed and noise are key. If someone is chasing your child or forcing them into a car, the best reaction is to scream and make a dash for it – provided the attacker doesn’t have a dangerous weapon.
  • Establish a plan of action. In the event your child gets lost in a busy public space, they’ll know what to do or where to meet you.

Where can you get help if you’ve been sexually assaulted or are the victim of domestic violence?

TEARS Foundation
Families South Africa (FAMSA)
The Trauma Centre
Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust

Helplines

SAPS Emergency – 10111
Gender-Based Violence Command Centre – 0800 428 428
STOP Gender Violence Helpline – 0800 150 150/ *120*7867#
Human Trafficking helpline – 08000 737 283 (08000 rescue) / 082 455 3664

“We’re a country with no rainbow, only rain. And that rain is red and warm and bruised between her thighs.” POEM: Zoe Human

#enoughisenough #comein #aminext

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