Thohoyandou — A Limpopo traditional leader has urged police officers to treat male victims of abuse with the same care as they treat abused women.
Khosi Thavhadziawa Ramaligela, of the Vhembe Congress of Traditional Leaders, was speaking during the launch of the 16 Days of Activism campaign against the abuse of women and children in Thohoyandou on Saturday.
"Traditionally men are afraid to report cases of abuse by their wives as they will be laughed at by police. We urge police to open cases of men being abused," said Khosi Ramaligela.
The chief said some men were also being abused by their own children, which makes it very difficult for them to report the matter.
He said for the anti-abuse campaign to be fruitful, all forms of abuse should be reported and treated with sensitivity and seriousness.
The event, which was organised by the Vhembe district municipality and the police, drew hundreds of community members who came to support the campaign. The theme of the campaign was "Don't look away, act against abuse."
Acting Vhembe mayor Lucas Manyuha warned men to stop abusing their wives and children.
"Men who abuse women and children are barbarians and have no place in our civilised society. We urge women and children to speak out against any form of violence," said Manyuha.
Manyuha said women and children should not protect their abusers simply because they are bread winners.
"We appeal to traditional leaders and the broader public to join hands with the police in giving red cards to criminals and teach them the lesson that crime does not pay. We can red card criminals by saying 'No' to crime, reporting crime and not accommodating backward practices," added Manyuha.