News / Opinion / Columns
Being a woman in South Africa can be likened to being a gazelle in a lion’s den.
We live in constant fear, 365 days of the year, of being the next victim of gender-based violence (GBV), wondering when the next predator will pounce.
South Africa has a rate of femicide five times higher than the global average, according to the South African Police Service crime statistics from 1 July to 30 September this year, with 9 556 people raped and a 31.7% increase in themurder of children.
Sexual violence has continued to be the reality for South Africans, especially females, with everyday activities, such as walking in the street, going to gym or using public transport, a fraught exercise or even an impossible mission with the rise of GBV.
Police Minister Bheki Cele released the second quarter crime statistics, revealing an increase of 634 cases or 7.1%, compared to the previous reporting period.
The minister also reported that 400 of the rape cases were related to domestic violence. He said most of the victims were violated in their own homes by people they knew and trusted.
GBV has continued to take away women’s confidence, freedom of movement and opportunities, making it hard to even breathe, as most of us live in heightened anxiety because you never know if you’ll be next.
Our deepest fear is not that we are unequal, or unheard but that our fate is decided by men in this country.
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It is very disheartening to live in a society where it seems people do not care about this pandemic that is GBV. It’s even more heartbreaking that we’ll be celebrating the annual 16 days of activism with increased violence against women and children.
I always see threads on Twitter of people speaking up about some of the situations they’ve been in and how scared they were. I remember a month ago being followed by a man inside Mr Price at Eastgate mall while I was pushing a trolley and playing with my son.
He followed me from the baby section to the women’s clothes, the underwear and shoe section.
My heart was racing and my hands were getting sweaty as I wondered why he had followed me and maintained eye contact without even the slightest fear, until my partner came and he finally disappeared.
Hearing stories like the discovery of human body parts in a back room in Protea Glen, Soweto, makes you wonder why men hate women so much – if it is indeed hate, and if there could ever be a logical explanation for that type of gruesomeness.
ALSO READ:Battle against GBV hindered by lack of funds
Teen pregnancies have jumped 60% since the start of the Covid pandemic, and we never stopped to ask how the babies were conceived.
Given the number of rape cases in SA you cannot exclude the possibility of rape.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said men need to speak out and act against GBV in his weekly newsletter, highlighting the increase in child murders, rapes and domestic violence.
“We are in the grip of a relentless war being waged on the bodies of women and children that, despite our best efforts, shows no signs of abating,” he said.
We cannot talk about it enough, or address it enough. When will it end?
CELEBS AND VIRAL