Road trip fights domestic violence

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Police officers Andries Douglas, 44, from Ceres, and Andre Lincoln, 51, from Bishop Lavis, rode their motorcycles around the province in support of 16 Days of Activism. Picture: Thomas Holder

Two police officers, Brigadier André Lincoln, 51, and Warrant Officer Andries Douglas, 44, returned to Cape Town on Sunday after a 14-day motorcycle trip around the Western Cape to raise awareness about gender-based violence.

The riders are members of Men for Change, a forum in the SAPS that focuses on issues such as domestic violence, police killings and wellness programmes.

They visited rural areas that included Murraysburg, Vredendal, Oudtshoorn, Plettenberg Bay, Beaufort West and George, stopping at each town's police station to run community workshops on domestic violence.

Lincoln said Cape Town suburb Mitchells Plain had the most reported cases of gender-based violence.

“We acknowledge that there are some perpetrators within our ranks, so we stopped at each cluster to encourage our colleagues to make a change and strive towards being examples to their communities,” he said.

He said they had run a 'successful campaign' and were planning to do it again, on a bigger scale, in 2013.

“Child abuse is heartbreaking and unacceptable.”

With our support groups we hope to change the mindsets of known abusers and turn them into individuals who will be able to protect their families instead of inflicting pain,” he said.

Lincoln and Douglas ended their epic road trip at the police's provincial event to mark the end of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children at Stephen Reagan Sports Complex in Mitchells Plain.

Speaking at the event, provincial police commissionner Lieutenant-General Arno Lamoer said 97 sexual abuse cases have been reported in the Western Cape during the past week - most of them against children, some as young as four.

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