Cops say no to violence against women, children
Pretoria - Police officers yesterday took some time out of their morning routine and took to the streets to mark the start of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children.
The activities started with roadblocks from 5.30am near the Hillcrest Shopping Centre on Lynnwood Road as well as in Lyttelton and Garsfontein.
Acting district commissioner Major-General Yvonne Botsheleng joined members from 18 police stations for the campaign, which included handing out pamphlets on the Rigel N1 bridge.
Botsheleng said they had taken it upon themselves – as officers and particularly as women – to occupy the front row of the campaign against gender-based violence and femicide.
“We are doing this to spread awareness about the killing of women in the country, and to be active in the fight because the police play a very big role in addressing gender-based violence in communities.”
She said this showed that they were not just sitting in their offices and they had been out in communities months ago.
“Our communities must really feel this, and the criminals should too, as we will be in many other communities like Atteridgeville and Mamelodi throughout the 16 days. We will be educating them about these issues.”
Botsheleng added that they had come to the realisation that many communities still needed education and there seemed to be a problem of parental care because many children were being affected.
She pleaded with the community to report cases even when they felt afraid to do so.
She urged women not to withdraw cases when their abusers intimidated them.
Women, she said, were often bribed by their partners.
She cautioned that if abusers saw they could be easily bribed, they would never change.
“We are having a very serious challenge of cases being closed after the victims are either intimidated or feel sorry for the abusers. Don’t protect the abusers because nobody is the owner of your body,” she pleaded.