Women urged to speak out if taunted, abused for clothes they wear
Pretoria - Incidents of women being taunted and abused simply because of what they were wearing while in public can not be allowed to continue as if it is normal behaviour or legal.
Fears that taxi ranks were unsafe places particularly for female commuters cannot continue and incidents of abuse should not be allowed to carry on and should be reported to the authorities promptly.
It was for this reason that the Gauteng Traffic Police and other law enforcement agencies in the build up to the 16-days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children took to the Bosman Taxi Rank in Pretoria, urging women to speak out.
Gauteng Traffic Police spokesperson, Sello Maremane, said the most important message they wanted to share was for women not to be silenced and where they could get help.
“We’ve got the domestic violence act and incidents like these are covered in that act because women should not be dictated to as to what they should wear. Those acts must be reported to us and we will act on it because it is against the law.’
Maremane said law enforcement officers also abhorred such behaviour and they wanted commuters to know that silence was only perpetuating the unspeakable acts to continue unabated.
“People need to be aware that we are here to assist them and they need to talk about this.
Any form of abuse is not and will never be tolerated be it sexual, physical, or psychological, hence our bid to give out the necessary contact numbers to use.”
“If our female passengers come here and get abused by the very same people that we are entrusting it can’t go on hence our plea for them to speak out.”
Maremane said continuing with the awareness campaigns was still very important as some people did not know that there was a national hotline with professionals on standby to assist them.
“If you see a person in uniform it’s a symbol of peace so whether it be violence or abuse at home or on the streets approach that person and they will be able to help you. We are here to help 365 days a year 24/7.”