To mark the first day of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence, police officers yesterday took some time out of their morning routine to go to the streets to highlight the importance of ending violence towards women and children.
The activities started with roadblocks from 5.30 am near the Hillcrest Shopping Centre on Lynnwood Road as well as in Lyttelton and Garsfontein. This awareness campaign comes after to the realization that many communities still needed to be educated about GBV and positive parental care.
Acting district commissioner Major-General, Yvonne Botsheleng joined members from 18 police stations who handed out pamphlets on the Rigel N1 bridge. She said they had taken it upon themselves, as officers and particularly as women, to occupy the front row of the campaign against gender-based violence and femicide.
“We are doing this to spread awareness about the killing of women in the country and to be active in the fight because the police play a very big role in addressing gender-based violence in communities. Our communities must really feel this, and the criminals should too, as we will be in many other communities like Atteridgeville and Mamelodi throughout the 16 days. We will be educating them about these issues,” said Botsheleng.
She pleaded with the community to report cases and urged women not to withdraw cases when their abusers intimidated them. “We are having a very serious challenge of cases being closed after the victims are either intimidated or feel sorry for the abusers. Don’t protect the abusers because nobody is the owner of your body,” noted Botsheleng.