South Africa: 11‚000 People Pledge to end violence against women and children

Since its launch in early May‚ an estimated 11‚000 people have signed the #OneTooManySA pledge‚ calling for an end to abuse against women and children.

The organisation Ilitha Labantu and its partnering organizations have been making door-to-door visits in townships and communities on the Cape Flats – an expansive, low-lying, flat area situated to the southeast of the central business district of Cape Town – to raise awareness about the campaign. The pledges will be handed over to the South African Police Service and the Department of Justice.

We’ve collected the signatures of many different people‚ old and young‚ who are tired of what they are seeing every day. Our own data shows that perpetrators are arrested this week and four days later‚ they are back on the streets doing the same thing.

People are living in perpetual fear. We want a sense of accountability from the Justice Department‚” said Siyabulela Monakali‚ Ilitha Labantu spokesperson.

Pledge and march to end violence

I pledge to stop the abduction‚ rape and killing of women and girls in our communities. Together we demand bold political leadership to prevent rape and brutal killing‚ to protect civilians and rape survivors‚ and call for justice for all including effective prosecution of those responsible,” reads the pledge that more than 11,000 people have so far signed.

In June‚ nearly 600 activists and survivors of abuse held a peaceful march to the Western Cape Legislature and Parliament to demand justice for the victims of crimes against women and children.

Over 7‚000 online pledges and over 3‚000 pledges more had been collected after their door-to-door visits in Elsies River‚ Khayelitsha‚ Philippi‚ Gugulethu‚ Langa and Nyanga. Even police stations had been invited to get involved in the campaign to bolster the police relationship with communities.

What the community actions also reveal is the “dire need” for counselling and advice services.

A lot of people were asking us where they can go for help because of the lack of services available in that area. The topic of abuse has become normalized in areas like this to a point where people shrug it off‚” Mr Monakali said.