DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS A CRIMINAL ACT
By: Sthabiso Mdledle
The year 2015 marks 17 years since the 16 Days of Activism against Women and Children Abuse campaign was adopted by South Africa.
This day is celebrated to help and care for people like Thobile Zikode (25) from uMlazi, a university student who was beaten by her boyfriend in front of his friends after an argument.
Zikode said that she was abused by someone she trusted in public and no one cared to help her, people were watching while she was being attacked.
“My eyes were swollen. I didn’t know what to say at home. I was only in high school and my parents didn’t know I had a boyfriend.
However I had the courage to open a case against him and he was arrested, which was also a challenge because I had to explain again to my parents what I was doing in court,” said Zikode.
She said that she did that to encourage every woman who is abused to open a case and leave that man for good.
“Society feels threatened by violence, even when you walk by in town you get mugged by the whoonga boys and people will not assist you in any way. This happened to me earlier this
This form of violence is very dangerous and traumatic,” added Zikode.
President Jacob Zuma said in a statement that unity in the 16 Days of Activism campaign has been remarkable over the years.
“Domestic violence in particular must not be taken lightly. It’s not a private matter when a man beats up his wife or girlfriend. It’s a serious crime if a man does so, our country takes it
very seriously, we have declared it a priority crime,” said President Zuma.
The campaign was fromed in 1991 but only adopted in 1998 by the Centre for Women’s Global Leadership.
The campaign runs from the 25th November to the 10th December each year nationally and internationally to support and fight for the end of violence against women and children.
According to the Presidency, South Africa adopted the campaign as one of the intervention strategies towards creating a free from violent society. The campaign continues to raise
awareness to society about the negative impact of violence against women and children (VAW&C).
According to the South African Presidency, this period includes International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, International Human Rights Day, Universal
Children’s Day as well as the World AIDS Day.