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Citizens urged to include the neglected boy child

The GBV dialogue session at Vosloorus highlighted the exclusion of the boy child in various child development initiatives as a contributing factor in the increasing GBV challenge facing the country.

The Phethahatso Foundation (PF) and the Department of Community Safety (DCS) opened a platform for a dialogue session with the community at the Vosloorus Civic Centre on November 14.

The dialogue session allowed residents, NPOs and victims to discuss gender-based violence and produce solutions.

The guest panel from NPOs and government departments included the hosts PF and DCS along with the Department of Justice (DoJ), Vosloorus SAPS, CPF, Awakening Empowerment and Healing Reintegration and Transformation Centre (AWEH), Thuthuzela Care Centre and victims.

Tebello Mosese, founder of PF and event organiser, said the purpose of the event was to identify the root cause of GBV.

“I think everything the government department does is to deal with the end product of GBV. How about we get to the roots to determine what is causing this GBV pandemic, as it has been declared by the president?” said Mosese.

She said many things contribute to GBV namely social ills, poverty and behavioural observation in a household, like how parents treat each other in the presence of the children. Those elements contribute to the mindset of a person – over time as they grow up, she added.

“When I started the organisation there was not much talk about the boy child. I remember some of the radio interviews I did on Metro FM, 702 radio and Lesedi FM, where most of the concerns questioned why I was pushing the boy child because it is time for women empowerment,” Mosese.

“My response has always been if women’s empowerment comes with neglecting the men or boys, then we are doing it wrong. The empowerment of another should not be at the expense of the other,” she said.

Lungile Moloi of Lungstars Organization (LO) reiterated Mosese’s sentiments, said to resolve the issue of GBV the focus should be determining the root cause.

One of the profound comments that impressed many people was when she encouraged attendees to return to Ubuntu (humanity).

She emphasised the public, NGOs and government departments should not forget the boy child in their initiatives to develop girls, using initiatives like ‘take a girl child to work’ and ‘keep a girl child at school’ that exclude the boy child as an example.

“Let us teach our ladies to love themselves, not forget our boy child. I think our mistake in the black community is we always have to boost girls but we forget about boys,” said Moloi.

“The women you are building up, who are they going to marry if we do not build the men alongside them?” she asked.

GBV survivor and founder of Lungstars Organisation, Lungile Moloi, shares her story during the GBV dialogue session at Vosloorus Civic Centre.

Their organisation (LO) works with male and female inmates who have been convicted in relation to GBV. They aim to develop and groom them. However, she pointed out her focus is on women because she wants to restore their dignity.

“Most of them are in prison because of the abuse they endured for years. One day they defended themselves and killed their abusers,” said Moloi.

She said if a child gives herself to a man at a young age there is a root cause at home. You can blame the guy, but he is not the root cause.

“If we always solve the end product without checking the root, we will never get rid of GBV. That is my personal opinion because I am a victim.”

Speaking from her experience as a victim, Moloi said she experienced physiological, mental and emotional abuse.

“I allowed my abuser to abuse me because I was destroyed. It was okay to be abused, as it was the only thing I knew. I was raped every single year from the age of 12. I was gang-raped and gun raped. The cycle broke when I got married at the age of 26.”

Moloi said the solution to deal with the root cause was to build women, rebuild their self-confidence and self-esteem and let them know who they are.

“My personal view is, firstly, identify who you are in God first. Secondly, love yourself first because you cannot give what you do not have. That is how I came out of abuse, I am standing here because I worked on myself. It took me 15 years after the divorce.”

A representative of the DoJ, Thembela Tiyo from Vosloorus Magistrate Court, explained the process of applying a protection order for abused individuals.

Tiyo said the domestic violence protection order is the law instituted in 1998 to help people who are abused in their homes.

She said there are various types of abuse including physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, economic abuse and harassment within a domestic relationship.

“If you are a victim of abuse, you can apply for a protection order in court. When you get to court, a domestic violence clerk will assist you. You have to explain the type of abuse you suffered in detail,” said Tiyo.

“After that, a file will be opened and taken to the magistrate, who will go through the application and decide if you qualify for a protection order. If you qualify, the magistrate will issue an interim protection order, which has conditions,” she continued.

“When the interim protection order is issued, it will state that from today the perpetrator has to be evicted from their home and must not assault the victim. Until they both go to court, once the protection order has been issued, a court date will be issued.”

She explained when the applicant receives the protection order they have to go to the police station because it is served by the police. The police would have to go to the perpetrator and serve them with the protection order and inform them of its conditions.

“Once served with the interim protection order, should the perpetrator continue to abuse you before the issued court date, you must return to court to inform the court clerk.

“You do not have to wait until you both appear in court. Draft an avadavat, which will be taken to the magistrate for a warrant of arrest to be issued so that the perpetrator can be arrested before appearing in court.”

One of the concerned attendees asked how the courts would approach a scenario where the perpetrator is the owner of the property.

Tiyo responded by referencing a case they dealt with while she was still working at Boksburg Magistrate Court.

She said in a scenario like that, if you are being abused by the owner of the house, the magistrate can still order an eviction until their appearance.

“The day you come to court is the day the magistrate will listen to the case from both parties. At the time, the perpetrator would have been issued an interim protection order but when you return to court, the magistrate will finalise the final order.”

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Those who had applied for it five years ago and have a warrant of arrest can take the warrant of arrest to the police if the abuse continues, she added.

She said police often refuse to help victims because the warrant of arrest is old. She explained a protection order does not expire unless the victim decides to cancel it or dies.

However, once it has been effected it cannot be used again. If the victim is abused again, they have to go back to court to apply for another warrant of arrest.

Another attendee asked why it takes so long (approximately two months) for the protection order to be issued.

Tiyo clarified the waiting period by explaining the applicant should receive it and the court date on the same day if the magistrate approves it.

She also voiced they had a challenge with abused victims who apply for protection orders and fail to appear in court or once their protection order is approved, they return to cancel it.

“When asked why, they say they have talked it through. When the option to engage each other is still on the table, talk before you come to court because even if you want to cancel it, you cannot go to the court clerk, you can only cancel at court in the presence of the magistrate,” she said.

She said another challenge they encounter at court is when they try to open a file and help the victims to report a case, they refuse mainly women and senior citizens.

Where can victims get assistance?

• Victims can contact DCS’s Green Doors Ambassadors, in Vosloorus. Contact Beauty Maboka at 082 820 7902, or Morongwa Ramaru of the Ext 28 branch at 078 458 7842. In Katlehong contact Gugu Mofokeng at 079 532 1204 or 079 981 8364.

• Victims may also contact Tebello Mosese of PF at 083 513 4603.

• Moloi of LO at 078 352 6119, alternatively email Lumoloi3@gmail.com

• Pippa Dyer of AWEH at 088 303 7433 or email Pippa@iqu2film.co.za

• TCC at 063 251 9018, Ekupholeni at 011 909 2929 and GBV brigades at 071 876 6549.

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