What really freaks me out is the fact that in most cases, the abuser is well known to the victim. We have had such horrendous cases in court.
For me, a woman is the mother of the future of a country. A national asset. But for some reason, the respect and protection for them is not there anymore.
Physical and emotional abuse is almost a daily occurrence. Then there is rape, corrective rape and murder. There was a time when men left home to go and find work while the women stayed at home behind and kept things afloat.
Many men went into exile during the apartheid era and women (like the late Winnie Madikizela Mandela) fought for our liberation.
We should celebrate our heroes from the past - those women who inspired us all in so many ways.
Tomorrow we are taking to the streets in solidarity with those women who are abused, those who died and those still living in despair.
For a woman living on the streets in Cape Town, life is tough but not dangerous. Seldom do you hear about murder or abuse. It is there. Make no mistake.
However, we tend to be more protective of them. If, for example, a woman’s husband goes to jail, we all pull together and support her in any way we can. She does not fall prey to rapists, etc. We are one family. Same with the children. There are still some “old school” morals and values among us.
Some youth of today think that because a woman has equal rights, they don’t need to stand up and give a seat on a bus to an older woman. They don’t open doors anymore. They don’t help carry their bags. Those little things in life.
Young men, remember when you whistle to a girl or make a stupid sexist remark, she could have been your sister or your girlfriend. Man does not stand for mean. Power does not need to be a pain. Love does not end up in a bloodbath. Jealousy makes you ugly, not cool nor sexy.
We all should mobilise against those who have lost the plot. No matter if you live in a gutter or a house. Let’s keep an eye on our women and children.
After all, they carried us for many months, gave birth to us and only wanted what was best for us.
You were never intended to become a figure representing fear, abuse of a killer. If you think you need help, ask. There are organisations that can assist with your anger issues, etc.
* Danny Oosthuizen is the #TheDignityProject ambassador. In his weekly daily column for the Cape Argus, he tackles the struggles homeless people face. Connect with Danny on Facebook and on Twitter @masekind3213 or via email: [email protected]
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.