It is no longer enough just to #WeRemember. It is imperative that we reflect deeply on this crisis and engage in decisive interventions, now.
It is no longer enough just to #WeRemember. It is imperative that we reflect deeply on this crisis and engage in decisive interventions, now.

Don't Look Away: Men killed these women and children

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Nov 25, 2019

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South African women experience violence

on a horrific scale and our country

shamefully ranks as having amongst the

most abusive men in the world. 

Men harass,

assault, rape and murder women daily,

leaving women to live in fear at home,

at work, at school and in public spaces.

The vicious cycle of toxic masculinity must

be addressed at the source. 

This is why

Independent Media’s award-winning Don’t

Look Away campaign, in support of the

global 16 Days of Activism Against Gender

Based Violence, will this year challenge

men, young and old, to break the cycle

of violence, to end toxic masculinity and

to never look away from gender-based

violence. Join us in our campaign using the

slogan #talk2yourboys to make SA safer. 

The agonising question is what is it that drives South African men to commit such

horror on women and girls purely on the grounds of their gender?

Hourly, daily, weekly, women are harassed, molested, beaten, stabbed, shot,

suffocated, tortured, raped, and bludgeoned to death. 

The horror they suffer

until their lives are prematurely ended is shocking, the terror unspeakable. 

You

will recognise some of these women and children from reports we carried at the time they went missing and were murdered. You will also notice

blank profiles on this wall of remembrance. 

Don’t be fooled by the facelessness

of statistics. Behind the façade of that blank profile there is a real woman, a real

child, who was dearly loved by her family but who was brutalised and slaughtered

by an equally faceless toxic male who mercilessly preyed on her. 

Shockingly there are a great many instances of toxic masculinity, of gender-based

violence that never make it into the news, and scores more where the cries and

screams of the victims go unheard and the full extent of this national crisis remains

unknown. 

But the pain does not end with the death of a femicide victim. It crushes both

survivors, and grieving families who hold on to the only thing they have left – their

memories and their photos. 

But even in this deep agony there is the pain of a parent

or family who does not even have a photo because they were simply too poor. There

can be no question that gender-based violence and femicide in South Africa has

reached pandemic proportions.

It is no longer enough just to #WeRemember. It is

imperative that we reflect deeply on this crisis and engage in decisive interventions,

now. 

Role models who shape our youth, from parents and teachers to social

influencers and leaders, all need to make themselves acutely aware of how trauma,

language and stereotyping contribute to men growing up using violence as their

default setting. 

It is time to #talk2yourboys and raise them to be better men who have greater

empathy, tolerance and understanding of gender equality and respect.

As much as men are the perpetrators of GBV, they too need to be part of the solution

by standing up, speaking out, and raising the bar of what it means to be a man.  

* GET

INVOLVED! Share your

thoughts on toxic

masculinity and how

it affects our society via Whatsapp on 074 557 3535. Remember to add

#DontLookAway

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