MAYOR OF SRVM LED A MARCH TO MARK 16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM FOR NO VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN
As South Africa marks the 16 Days of Activism for no violence against women and children, the Mayor of Sundays River Valley municipality Ms Nombulelo Bixa led a march to Paterson Police station where she handed over a petition calling for more intervention around issues of gender-based violence.
While handing over the petition to Warrant officer Anthony Marshall at Paterson police station, Ms Bixa said the march was to highlight the terror that women and children experience in their daily lives and to say they have had enough.
“As women we are abused by the people closest to us, women are abused in marriages, kids are abused by their relatives.” she said.
“As the municipality, together with sector departments and NGOs we can’t keep quiet anymore while other women are suffering.”
“We are here to encourage them to speak out and report these crimes,” she added.
She called for harsher sentences on perpetrators of violence and also encouraged women not to withdraw cases they have reported to the police as this doesn’t only weaken their cases but puts them in danger of being abused again.
While other women stood up to say they have seen enough, others joined the march to say they have experienced enough violence in their lives.
Another community member from Paterson said she joined the march because her sister was raped on her way from a nearby tavern.
“The neighbours claim that they heard someone crying the night my sister was raped but they were too scared to go out and help.”
“Nothing ever happened and no one was arrested, my sister then got mentally ill and later died,” she said.
When accepting the petition, Marshall urged victims of abuse and violence to refrain from withdrawing cases as this keeps these perpetrators in the society instead of jail where they belong.
“As the police we are committed to giving speedy response and proper investigation of cases of violence.”
He added that violence is mostly caused by alcohol abuse which is attributed to high rate of unemployment.