The 16 Days of Activism for no Violence Against Women and Children campaign is something that is close to Captain Elizabeth Munro’s heart.
Captain Munro, who is the spokeswoman for the Sea Point police station, said she decided to become a police officer because of something that happened to her when she was just 10 years old. It is something that has stayed with her and inspired her to speak out and encourage other women to do the same, she said.
Captain Munro was speaking at an event at the Cape Medical Museum in Green Point on Friday November 25, the first day of the campaign, which runs until Saturday December 10.
“At 10 years old, I was raped by the neighbour’s 19-year-old son. After this incident I grew up lonely, embarrassed, ashamed. No one talked about what happened to me, not even my family. I did not receive any counselling, and carried this burden inside of me for many years,” she said.“I knew then that I wanted to become a police officer, to catch all the bad people who hurt little children.”
She said in 2011 she started opening up about what happened and went for counselling. She said that is how her healing process started.“Do not wait too long to make a choice to get help, because it will eat you from the inside. The choice you make in life, will determine your future.” She said she hoped that her personal story would inspire others to make the right choice.”
Captain Munro stressed that the South African Police Services remained committed to curbing domestic violence. “It is important to note that no law enforcement agency can eradicate this evil without the co-operation and support of the public at large.The statistics paint a bleak picture of our society.
“It is my wish that violence against women and children one day becomes a thing of the past.”
Captain Munro stressed that it was an important initiative that needed support all year round.
Important emergency numbers:
Cape Town SAPS Operational Room – 021 467 8001/2
Emergency Services – 107
SAPS Emergency – 10 111
Women Abuse Helpline – 0800 150 150
Child Line – 0800 055 555