Domestic Violence, an Evil Lurks Amongst Us…

Posted: May 23, 2011 in General
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A scathing slap across the face, followed by another. As she falls, she tries to protect the child on her back. The man kicks her, over and over again. He walks away and she’s relieved that her routine beating is over- little did she know that this time, it would be different. As she stands up, preparing to take the screaming baby off her back, she hears him approaching her- which is odd, as he always leaves after beating her. She looks up and without realising what is happening, her baby let’s out a piercing scream; which would be his last. Her partner had returned with a hosepipe to finish what he had started and had accidentally hit the child on his partner’s back- a child who was his flesh and blood, a child who died at his hands. This is just one of the many realities in the Rooigrond Informal Settlement, where Domestic Violence is rife. Many scenes like these play themselves out on a daily basis and unfortunately, the end result is always tragedy.

Despite this endless occurrence of tragedy, the silence about this reality from victims; authorities and every other stakeholder in the matter is quite alarming. As such, we took it upon ourselves to hold all those involved accountable and ensure that our team is adequately empowered to support victims and their families and also to share what could be life saving information with the community. On the 5th April 2011, when POWA hosted a Domestic Violence Imbizo in Lonely Park, Mafikeng, with all stakeholders participating, we ensured that members of our team participated; sharing the problems experienced in Rooigrond; alerting SAPS to the lack of response at their end; pointing out the lack of social support for victims and starting a move for co-operation with all present, to ensure the eradication of this evil lurking in our society. It was a great day and all information gathered is continuously ploughed back into the community.

Considering that, “many women are still unaware of their rights when reporting abuse and even informed women traumatised by an assault are unlikely to be assertive and insist on their rights. Many women are afraid of further violence from the perpetrator if they attempt legal action. This is even more compounded by the introduction of the new Domestic Violence Act which a lot of women have not yet grasped…”, we hope that through our continuous efforts to support and share information with the community, in time this too shall be overcome.

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