To mark their support for the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign, social services organisation Badisa is encouraging people to show that they do not tolerate violence, by downloading a 16 Days emoji from their website (www.badisa.org.za), printing it out and taking a snapshot of themselves with the emoji on social media.
The international awareness campaign was adopted by South Africa in 1998 as one of the intervention strategies towards creating a violence-free society.
Through the campaign, said Badisa, they want to use technology and social media to draw attention to the many ways violence affects the lives of all people in all communities around the world; ensure mass mo- bilisation of all communities to promote collective responsibility in the fight to eradicate violence against women and children and to emphasise the fact that the solution lies with all of us.
Violence takes many forms:
● Physical violence in the form of domestic violence, violent crime such as murder, robbery, rape and assault.
● Emotional violence and trauma that women and children are subjected to in their homes, at work, at schools, on our streets and in our communi- ties.
● Violence of poverty, starvation, humiliation and degradation, especially against women and children.
● Poverty, inequality and unemployment are condi- tions under which violence thrives.
How you can show your support
● Volunteer in support of NGOs and community groups who support abused women and children
● Use your skills and knowledge to help the victims of abuse.
● 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). Try to understand how your own attitudes and actions might perpetuate sexism and violence.
The law is on your side
Among the laws Parliament has passed to protect individuals against abuse, are the Domestic Violence Act of 1998; the Children’s Act of 2005; the Maintenance Act of 1998; the Promotion of Equity and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act of 2000; and the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters Act) Amendment Act of 2007.
● The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children is an interna- tional awareness campaign. It takes place every year from 25 Novem- ber (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) to 10 December (International Human Rights Day).