South Africa is facing a national crisis of Violence Against Women and Children. According to eNCA, more than 2 300 Gender-Based Violence (GBV) cases have been reported during the first week of the 21-day lockdown.
The Siyakwazi Youth Network takes this as a serious offence against victims of Gender-Based Violence and we mourn the late passing of Simphiwe Sibeko. Simphiwe was a 14 year old from Dobsonville, Soweto and a Grade 9 learner at Aurora Girls’ High School.
She was found brutally murdered during the COVID-19 lockdown in Emndeni Extension after she was reported missing at the local police station on Friday, 03 April 2020 when she did not return home from a local shop on Thursday evening. May her dear soul rest in peace.
We take cognisance of the increasing levels of Gender-Based Violence at the moment, whereby we realise that victims of abuse are now trapped with perpetrators in households and environments which are not conducive for movement due to strict lockdown protocols initiated by the Government.
This leaves a bitter pill to swallow for ordinary South Africans, especially the vulnerable groups of people in our society and therefore we as the Siyakwazi Youth Network, are advocating for the horrendous acts of abuse against women and children to be addressed in an effective and immediate manner.
Furthermore, the lockdown has not only brought victimisation to women and children who have no room of escaping from their perpetrators but it also introduces stress over health concerns, finances, job uncertainty and a spill over of excessive alcohol consumption.
We urge young people across South Africa to do away with negative mechanisms and find innovative ways to volunteer your time (within lockdown regulations) to collaborate with organisations and movements that are working tirelessly around the clock to ensure that vulnerable groups are safe from abuse.
We also encourage young people to stay home, stay safe, practice good hygiene and stay healthy during this uncertain time in our nation.
Below, find contact details for emergencies if you see any incident of Gender-Based Violence or if you are currently experiencing this cruel ordeal.
Gender-based Violence (GBV) Command Centre
Please call me number: *120*7867#
Emergency line: 0800 428 428
People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA) Helpline:
011 642 4345
South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG)
24hr Helpline: 0800 456 789
For a Suicidal Emergency: 0800 567 567
Tears Foundation Helpline:
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Partners in Sexual Health encourages members of the Siyakwazi Youth Network to do their own research and write about SRHR and other social issues affecting them in their daily lives. However, the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the blogs belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to Partners in Sexual Health, Siyakwazi Youth Network or any of its partner organisations.