Victims of abuse need not suffer in silence, say the Table View police, who threw their support behind the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children Campaign last week.
About 150 people, including children, held a peaceful march on Friday November 25 from the Table View police station to the Church on the Rise in Blouberg Rise.
The 16 Days campaign, a global annual event calling for the elimination of gender-based violence, runs from Friday November 25 (International Day Against Violence Against Women) to Saturday December 10 (International Human Rights Day).
Launching the Table View police station’s drive in support of the campaign, spokeswoman Captain Adriana Chandler said the fight against abuse started by educating children that it was wrong to raise a hand against another person.
Captain Chandler called on victims to be vocal and report incidents of abuse.
“Do not suffer in silence, there are organisations that can help you get out of an abusive relationship. To those who know of a victim, do not keep quiet, come forward and report abuse to anyone,” she said.
According to the latest provincial crime stats, released by Community Safety MEC Reagen Allen and provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Thembisile Patekile on Tuesday November 29, the period from the beginning of July to the end of September saw 118 women murdered in the Western Cape, up 4% from 113 during the same time last year.
Also, 2 126 women were assaulted, up 23% from 1 727 cases, and there were 1 233 rape cases in the province, up by 22% from 1 009 cases.
Sixteen of those rape cases were reported at the Table View police station, up from nine cases reported during the same period last year.
Table View CPF chairman David Harris said violence against women and children was a stain on our society.
“We are failing in our efforts and need the input and support of the whole of society to rid the country of this scourge,” said Mr Harris.
Pastor Brad Espin from Church on the Rise called on society to join hands in a time of darkness.
“We cannot do it alone, we need law enforcement. Together we are part of a solution to make a difference in our communities,” he said.
Kim Martin, the co-founder of the Reeva Steenkamp Foundation, said that on the day she was shot dead by her boyfriend Oscar Pistorius, Ms Steenkamp had been due to visit an all-girls high school with a message that girls need to love themselves. Ms Martin said Ms Steenkamp had also planned to reveal that she had previously been in an abusive relationship, a message she thought was important for girls to hear.
Ms Martin called on victims to come forward and report cases of abuse.
Captain Chandler said everyone had the responsibility to help a victim of abuse.