21 November 2012

South Africa: Gauteng Health Strengthens the Fight Against Gender Based Violence

press release

As a build up to the 16 days of Activism of no violence against women, children and men, the Gauteng Department of Health yesterday trained men on prevention of abuse against women and children in Daveyton, Ekurhuleni.

Forty four men in and around the Daveyton area were educated on issues of abuse with the aim of creating a movement of men who are bold enough to tackle the social ills of our communities.

The 16 days of Activism of no violence against women, children and men is celebrated annually on 25 November to 10 December worldwide as a call for the elimination of all forms of violence.

The workshop looked at ways of engaging men and discussing factors and conditions that lead them to commit such harmful acts. Information from these engagements will be used to inform strategies on how to work towards eliminating gender based violence completely at home, communities and in the workplace.

The workshop focused on prevention rather than accepting or reacting to violence. This approach looks at taking an active role in the fight against gender-based violence and aims to create a platform for men to engage with other men as heads of families as well as role models in communities.

The department anticipates that these types of engagements might help break the silence which has overshadowed violence which affects men and can also mark the beginning of public debates around violence against men and boys.

Under the theme, "Men care enough to Act" the department will on 28 November, embark on an awareness campaign that will see men from all walks of life coming together to encourage the community particularly men and boys to take part in activities aimed at preventing and eliminating Gender based violence.

The campaign will focus on the involvement of men who to a large extend are perpetrators of gender based violence but are in some instances victims as well.

The campaign plans to bring to the fore the plight of lesbian women who are sexually victimised through corrective rape in Gauteng communities. It will also look at facilitating a dialogue with the aim of promoting the concept of positive fatherhood for the benefit of men in the province.

The department will also on the day officially open the Clinical Forensic Medical Services Centre at Daveyton Main clinic which will cater for victims of crime in around the area.

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