Silent march for victims of abuse

About 100 people, ranging from children and women’s rights groups to community members, marched to the Thornhill Police Station last week to hand over a petition for an end to crimes against women and children.

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The Silent March served as Kouga’s launch of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign.

This year’s national theme is: Count Me In

Social Services Portfolio Councillor Danny Benson, representing Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen, led the march and handed over the petition to Station Commander Colonel Neil Hendricks.

“We chose Thornhill as a place for the launch after a young girl and an elderly woman were allegedly raped in two different cases early in November. We could not stand by and watch while one of the most abhorrent acts of human violations had occurred,” said Benson.

The four main demands on the petition were: a call to the police to prioritise crimes against women and children; for the police to ensure that rape and physical abuse survivors and victims are treated with dignity; calling on police to be sincere and honest with cases of abuse; and for there to be a working relationship between the police, the Department of Justice and the community to bring perpetrators to book.

According to the South African Government website, the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children is an international awareness campaign.

It takes place annually from 25 November which is an International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and ends on 10 December which is an International Human Rights Day.

The period also includes World Aids Day on 1 December.

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