Durban — People must dispel the notion that victims invite rape based on their attire.
These were the words of advocate Omashni Naidoo of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) who was speaking at the National Women’s Month event hosted by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC) Regional of Southern Africa (ROSA). The event took place on the anniversary of the tragic death of anti-apartheid activist, Victoria Mxenge.
Naidoo vehemently denounced victim-blaming and the perpetuation of harmful myths about rape. Naidoo urged society to abandon harmful attitudes that hinder the nation’s ability to confront gender-based violence effectively.
Professor Relebohile Moletsane, from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, stressed the need to challenge perceptions and stereotypes related to women’s clothing.
Moletsane expressed deep concern over how women were often judged or blamed for the way they dress when faced with abuse, emphasising that no clothing choice could ever justify such violence
KwaZulu-Natal Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza, on Tuesday, made an impassioned call for communities to break the cycle of gender-based violence
Khoza made the call in response to the ongoing scourge of violence against the vulnerable members of society, such as women and children.
She urged communities not to shield perpetrators.
Khoza expressed her dismay at the prevalence of abuse within families, where victims often suffer in silence.
The MEC emphasised the need for families to take the lead in confronting the issue of abuse and holding perpetrators accountable for their actions.
In a call for unity among women from all walks of life, Khoza urged them to support and protect one another.
Khoza stressed that ending gender-based violence required women to stand together in solidarity, advocating for survivors and ensuring they had the opportunity to heal from their traumatic experiences.
She therefore paid tribute to Mxenge’s courage and determination.
Drawing inspiration from Mxenge’s commitment to fighting for the marginalised and oppressed, she encouraged women to emulate her example and stand firm against discrimination and inequality within families and society.
“There was a pressing need for collaboration between the government, law-enforcement agencies and communities to make Mxenge’s dream of a safer society a reality,” said Khoza.
Khoza highlighted the importance of collective efforts to address domestic violence and sexual offences, while expressing her concern over the alarming prevalence of sexual violence cases in the eThekwini area, particularly Inanda.
Participants at this year’s festivities vowed to work collaboratively to eradicate gender-based violence in KwaZulu-Natal. They called for a shift in societal attitudes, promoting respect, empathy, support for victims and unity in the firm belief that no one should live in fear of violence, especially within their own homes.
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