Gender Based Violence and Violence against Children (Friday, 19 June 2020)

GENDER BASED VIOLENCE & VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN
Friday, 19 June 2020
Past. M.G. Mahlobo
(President of the AFM of SA)

Gender-based Violence (GBV) and Femicide as well as the physical and sexual abuse of children by men (and in some cases women) continue to plague our country.

Recently we heard about the brutal murders of 21 women and children including that of Tshegofatso Pule, an eight-month pregnant woman from Soweto, Johannesburg, who was hanged and that of Evelyn De Koker from Eersterust. It is alleged that both have been killed by their male partners. We also heard of the four-hour long ordeal of a Mom from Hankey, who was raped and shot in full view of her 12-year-old daughter, allegedly by a former employee. These recent heinous crimes against women has forcefully brought to the fore, the issues of violence against women and children.

I would like to convey our sincere and deepest condolences to all the bereaved and traumatised families and want to assure them of our prayers.

The scourge of Gender-Based Violence and violence against children should not be allowed to continue rearing its head. I would like to call upon all MEN in this church to be part of the solution and I would urge the Men’s Ministry to take the lead in this endeavour. This requires that we start in our own backyard and ensure that our hands are clean when it comes to violence against women (1 Timothy 2:8). Some of the men that perpetrate violence against women are known to us. We must confront them and even report them to the law enforcement agencies.

Since the dawn of democracy in South Africa, the country has annually, from 25 November (International Day of No Violence against Women) to 10 December (International Human Rights Day), embarked on the 16 Days of Activism for no Violence against Women and Children Campaign. The 16 Days Campaign forms the centre point of government’s comprehensive 365 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children.

The Organs of the State, Religious bodies, Non-Profit Organisations and various Community Organisations have participated in this and other similar campaigns. Parliament, the Security Forces and Judiciary have all been on the forefront with the promulgation and enactment of mandatory sentences. We as the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa, should urge our Government to: (i) give substance and impetus to the implementation of its comprehensive 365 days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children and (ii) review the laws regarding women and children abuse with a view to stiff penalties.

Yours in Christ
Past. M.G. Mahlobo
(President of the AFM of SA)
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