Sebokeng residents have taken the fight against Gender Based Violence (GBV) to another level.
Under the initiative of Tsatsi Tseke Foundation, residents marched on Friday carrying two coffins, one of a woman and the other of a child. The dramatization was meant to send a chilling reminder of how GBV was wrecking Vaal communities. It was a protest of women and men wearing black clothes to signify the mourning of the dead and dying due to GBV
Addressing marchers Tseke of Tsatsi Tseke Foundation advised women to leave abusive relationships.
‘If you don’t leave your abuser today, there is a high possibility that we will carry you out of that relationship in a coffin,” warned Tseke.
Tseke also expressed concern over the lenient sentences which perpetrators of GBV were getting from the justice system.
She called for harsher sentences against GBV perpetrators.
GBV is a global pandemic that affects one in three women in their lifetime. The numbers are staggering: 35% of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence.
The highest prevalence rates were found in central sub-Saharan Africa, with an estimated up to 66 percent of ever-partnered women having experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner (ibid.). GBV is a major cause of disability and death for women aged 15–44 years (United Nations Women 2011)
Reliable statistics on GBV are not regularly being published in South Africa. Another study undertaken with a sample of 168 women drawn from 15 rural communities in the southern Cape estimated that on average 80% of rural women are victims of domestic violence.