Stakeholders' Dialogues to address Gender Based Violence
by Luvuyo Ndarhane
As the country is waiting for the official opening of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children on 25 November, Social Development in Eastern Cape hosted a community dialogue in Alexandria on Monday as a buildup to that event. The Ndlambe Municipality has an alarming number of cases related to Gender Based Violence (GBV) perpetrated by men.
Eastern Cape has been identified as the hosting province for this year`s official launch of the 16 Days of Activism Campaign. President Cyril Ramaphosa was set to descend in Port Alfred on this date to do the honours. But because of the climbing number of Covid19 cases, especially in this province, an executive decision was taken to conduct the launch virtually. Social Development in Eastern Cape took advantage of hosting the launch to do awareness about Gender Based Violence in Ndlambe Municipality. A session of dialogues was organized in Alexandria to give a platform to the community of Ndlambe Municipality as well as other stakeholders to raise their concerns about gender based violence. Different stakeholders like SAPS, SASSA, Men`s Forum and Legal Aid raised their concerns and highlighted the services that they give to fight against this pandemic.
An unashamed Nelisa Grootboom who is a survivor of GBV gave a moving testimony to this event. The 34-year-old resident of Hankey encouraged “the victims of GBV to speak out.” As a victim of this abuse by her boyfriend, she said the “sad part is that victims don`t know they are being abused.” This corroborates the statement by Captain Stefane of SAPS that “women tolerate abuse till they die.” As an activist in the fight against GBV, Grootboom said she is bringing programmes to her community like sport and recreation activities which encourage the victims to open up more about abuse.
Social Development`s Malusi Khashe, in his capacity as Sarah Baartman District Director, committed the department to “follow up on all the concerns raised.” He even promised to give his contact details to anyone to contact him personally for the department to intervene in any such cases in this district.