The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) calls on all South Africans to join hands and put their heads together as we seek a solution to end gender based violence during the 16 days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children. POPCRU supports this international campaign which is this year themed, “Count me in: Together moving a non-violent South Africa forward.” It is the responsibility of each one of us as citizens of this beautiful nation to raise our fists in unity and take a vow to report abuse of any kind perpetrated on vulnerable members of the society.
POPCRU believes that instead of cringing and expressing anger each time we read about or see images of abused children, women and the elderly, we should be the solution. Abuse falls under the contact crime category and as a result it is hard for the police to implement strategies which work in external environments. As reported during the release of the Crime Statistics earlier in the year, the only way we can turn this tide against abuse is if neighbours, family members and friends speak up and call the police. The message has been consistent, that silence is indeed paramount to consent.
The organisation and its 158 000 members says to the South African government, Count us in, as we will join millions of others who will take part in campaigns and practise these messages in our daily lives. The violence that is perpetuated in our communities as a result of silence by the abused and witnesses has to end. If those who bear the brunt of the violence and even murders we read about cannot speak for themselves, we should all take up that responsibility in the interest of each other’s wellbeing and that of future generations to come.
Our distain should be channelled towards the perpetrators of gender based violence. It should propel us to go to our nearest police stations and report abuse, an act that could save the lives of those under threat. POPCRU will be joined by its sister unions SADTU, NEHAWU, SATAWU and CEPPAWU this coming Saturday in Bloemfontein to mark the 16 days and also encourage fellow South Africans to be champions of the cause to end Violence against Women and Children.
During the length of the campaign, POPCRU will encourage its members to make individual vows and affirmations which will compel them to do right by the women and children of this country. We refuse to stand on the side-lines and watch as generations of women and children get turned into victims by men who are supposed to be their fathers, uncles and husbands.
Issued by POPCRU on 26/11/2014
For more information contact;
Theto Mahlakoana (Ms)