The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) remains fully committed to the eradication of all forms of abuses and violations against women and children.
Yesterday, 25 November 2019 marked the beginning of this important international awareness campaign which will take place until the 10th December 2019.
This is a very important period in our calendar and proves that we are united with the rest of the world in fighting the scourge, but want to ensure it is not just treated as a ceremonial event, but a daily reality.
We believe it provides an appropriate opportunity for different institutions in our country, especially those within the criminal justice cluster, to reflect on a crucial issue touching the lives of many women across our country and the world.
The scourge of violent crimes against women and children are a tragic reflection on our society, and the lack of moral fibre that seems to have infected it.
Gender-based violence reflects inequities between men and women and compromises the health, dignity, integrity, security and autonomy of its victims. It encompasses a wide range of human rights violations, including sexual abuse of children, rape, domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment, trafficking of women and girls and several harmful traditional practices. Any one of these abuses can leave deep psychological scars, damage the health of women and girls particularly their reproductive and sexual health, and in most instances, result in death.
It does not only deprive those individuals who have been directly targeted, or leave them deeply traumatised and often severely injured, but the devastating impact thereof reaches much further; to their families, workplaces and society at large. The very women who are under siege in our country are our mothers, wives, partners, sisters, daughters and colleagues.
The women of our country have always played a fundamental role in their families, in society and in the economy. They deserve our utmost respect and support. Children, who are our future, should be nurtured and treasured instead of being subjected to violence and having to live in fear.
We therefore call on all our members within the criminal justice cluster to swiftly address this scourge of violence wherever they find it, and should strive to make our police stations across the country safe places where those violated behind closed doors can safely be assisted.
As POPCRU, we have a zero tolerance approach to any form of discrimination. We identify with President Ramaphosa’s firm stand against such violent cowardly acts and support calls for our male citizens to equally play a meaningful role in confronting the ill.
We wish to build a society where our women and children will be safe to live their lives in freedom and without fear.
Issued by POPCRU on 26/11/2019