Once again we are talking about violence against women and children, with trending hashtags like #menaretrash and #KaraboMokoena’s, we have to ask how is it that we are not able to stem the rising tide of violence our women and children are forced to live with and die as a result of.
Gender based violence is not simply a woman’s issue, its never been an issue that only women can resolve. Responsibility lies fairly on the shoulders of men – we have to take an active role in changing the mentality of men who commit these crimes. Punishing the perpetrators is no longer enough, we need better solutions to what is quickly becoming a global pandemic. The statistics in South Africa along are staggering and honestly, shameful - 48% of men have admitted to abusing their partners and the rate of male incarceration for serious crimes has risen by over 400%.
Is this the legacy I leave my son? A society of burdened by broken men and their toxic masculinity… I refuse! I call all South African men, to man up and mentor boys and young men around you, instilling values of respect, honesty, kindness, courage and self-discipline. Studies have shown that boys with absent fathers have anger management issues, they have grown up without the right male role models and in many cases end up filling our courts and jails.
One of our partner organisations, Father A Nation, recently posted a blog entitled “War on Women”, it is a strong statement - a rally cry to action! If we simply keep reacting to this violence we will achieve nothing, we need to step up and start making real changes in the lives of our broken boys and young men.
We found a definitive article posted by Rafuro Samanga, in which she fiercely addresses the issues of intimate partner violence, published on OkayAfrica. And like her, we demand that all South Africans take a cold, hard look at how we as men and as women choose to respond to violence. We can no longer ignore the reality that men are trash.
VIEW - War on Women
VIEW - Statistics released on Gender-based Violence in South Africa
VIEW – The real story behind #menaretrash - South Africa’s response to Domestic Violence