Imagine if, for 16 days, there was no rape, no child abuse. The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign challenges South Africans to declare a truce on violence against women and children - and, ultimately, to make it a permanent one.
This campaign runs from the 25th of November to the 10th of December every year, making people aware of the negative impact of violence on those who are vulnerable. The success of this campaign rests on our daily individual and collective actions to safeguard our society against this cycle of abuse
The theme of the 16 Days of Activism campaign is “Don’t Look Away, Act Against Abuse.”
Some incredibly shocking statistics have come to light that every individual needs to become aware of:
• 3 children a day are murdered in South Africa !
• Nearly half (44.5 %) of all child homicides were due to child abuse and neglect.
• 16 % of all child homicides were due to abandonment within the first week of life.
This begs the question...why are these cases not reported in time to prevent the innocent and vulnerable from losing their lives?
Why do people in the community not speak out and inform the authorities of their concerns or suspicions?
"Your silence could rob a child of their innocence"
Is it not our responsibility to care for those who cannot speak for or defend themselves?
We want a better and brighter future for South Africa yet some people do not take the first step in protecting those who are our future.
Let us equip the public with knowledge they can use.
What is abuse?
Abuse is more than bruises or broken bones. While physical abuse is shocking due to the scars it leaves, not all abuse is as obvious. Ignoring children’s needs, putting them in unsupervised, dangerous situations, or making a child feel worthless or stupid is also abuse. Regardless of the type of child abuse, the result is serious emotional harm.
If you have any concerns or suspicions regarding abuse in your community you should report it to the police, child protection organisations, Department of Social Development or to Uviwe Child and Youth Services.
Many people do not report abuse as they are afraid of the legal implications or they may fear for their own safety.
We want the public to know that you can report anonymously! No names will be mentioned. This will protect you...while you take that all important step of speaking out against the abuse in order to make a difference in the life of a child.
What can you do to support the 16 Days of Activism campaign?
• You can wear a white ribbon. This symbolises peace and your commitment to never commit or condone violence against women and children.
• You can participate in any 16 Days of Activism events or campaigns held in your area.
• You can volunteer your time and make a contribution to non-profit organisations.
• Encourage children to report any form of abuse or bullying behaviour to their teachers.
• Join community policing forums.
A child’s future and life might be in your hands, make the stand...’Don’t Look Away, Act Against Abuse!’