From a very young age, my son has always been sensitive to his surroundings. His inquiring mind endlessly works overtime, asking questions about everything from death to world hunger. Nothing is off limits in our home; I try to explain everything in a way that his 10-year-old mind can comprehend.
So when he approached me last week and asked innocently why SA’s women are being killed at the hands of their partners and strangers, for the first time I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know how to speak without emotion, anger and fear.
It’s a conversation that’s been happening in many homes these past few weeks. Parents are at odds when it comes to explaining to their children the reason for SA’s high rate of femicide. And, as a parent, how do you discuss topics like gender-based violence and rape?
According to Kate Rowe, founder and chief executive of Explorare, now is the time to be having these uncomfortable conversations. “Each time you take a moment to speak about and feel through experiences which are challenging, you become part of the change,” she says.
“Often it may seem easier to look away or tell yourself you will talk about it later. Now is the time to be having these uncomfortable conversations. We are at a pivot point - a time where every action counts.”