Capetonians stand against gender-based violence

Gender based violence

As our newspapers fill with reports of more and more girls and women going missing, being found raped and dead, the people of South Africa are taking a stand, saying “it is enough, no more!”

August, September and all the months before that, women, mothers, daughters and friends have fallen victim to crimes of gender-based violence. These atrocities leave our communities reeling with sadness as each missing women case comes to a close with death.

In early August, Women’s Month, Megan Cremer (30) went missing and after desperate appeal from her family, an independent investigation and six days, her lifeless body was found in a sand mine on a Philippi farm.

Only a few days later the body of Lynette Volschenk (32) was found chopped into pieces in an apartment building in Bellville. Shortly after this, a first year film studies student at UCT, Uyinene Mrwetyana (19) was declared missing.

A man has since been arrested for Nene’s murder and rape. The country and Cape Town has been left shaken.

What started as a campaign to #bringnenehome turned into #aminext. Women across the country fear for their safety and that simply being a woman is a danger in itself, that there is a target on our back.

Gender-based violence against women at the hands of men is one that goes far beyond this year’s incidents. It is one that continues to plague our country without the attention it deserves. The latest incidents are only the tip of the ice berg, as so many women go missing without being reported on.

A petition has also recently began circulating to have the death penalty in South Africa for crimes of violence and rape against women.

Capetonians are calling for the city and the country to mobilise. This Thursday, September 5, there will be a gathering at Parliament against gender-based violence. Women are coming together to peacefully protest outside of Parliament from 10am, dressed in all black. The group will mourn those who have lived in trauma and bring light to the plight of violence against women.

There will also be a march to end femicide held on Saturday, September 21. Protestors will march to Parliament and make sure the voices of women are heard.

Locals who are fed up with violence against women are encouraged to take part and share the protest space with fellow women who stand against gender-based violence.

Residents are also being encouraged to be more cautious and download this handy app to let your loved ones know where you are at all times.

You can also pay your respects to those who have lost their lives to gender-based violence at the Ribbon Gate in Tokai.

The fight against gender-based violence is not one to be found by women alone. No matter your gender, all South Africans need to unite for the cause.

You can sign the petition to declare violence against women in South Africa a state of emergency here.

If you want to learn how to defend yourself against a possible attack, please read our Women’s Self Defence in Cape Town.

It is time the violence against women stops. Join Capetonian women in putting an end to it once and for all this month.