PACSA Statement on Rising Epidemic Of Gender-Based Violence
In the wake of increasing reports of violence, deaths, and rape targeted at women and children, PACSA chooses to side with the oppressed, the side of those who are in pain and suffer injustice. PACSA CANNOT AND WILL NOT KEEP SILENT, as the country bleeds.
Desmond Tutu wrote ïf you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor, If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality”
Despite the struggles that have been waged against Gender-Based Violence and femicide, there does seem to be an end in sight. Womxn are under ongoing attack from men. They are not safe in their homes, churches, schools, universities, whilst walking on the street and in the workplace. As perpetrators hunt them down and find gruesome ways of exerting their power over their humanity, taking away their dignity and stripping them off of their humanity. WOMEN AND CHILDREN ARE NOT SAFE IN SOUTH AFRICA, as the justice system is failing them. Perpetrators walk the streets freely, receive light sentences and repeatedly find ways to take away women and children’s freedom. Women are forced into fear, terror, hiding, emotional trauma, anger, and ongoing struggle again perpetrators, who are, by and large, men.
In line with our values; grounded in Justice, Equity and Dignity, PACSA rejects all forms of gender-based harassment, violence, rape, murder, particularly targeted at women and children. We remain resolute on calling out these acts of violence, to be in solidarity with victims and their families PACSA recommits itself to stand in solidarity with victims of gender-based violence and femicide. These are our comrades, children, sisters, mothers, and grandmothers. WE WILL NOT BE SILENT, WE WILL SPEAK OUT. We are them and they are us.
We call on the justice system in its entirety to;
- Take seriously reports of abuse, rape, and murder.
- Strengthen the justice system in apprehending, investigating and handing down harsh sentences to perpetrators.
- The process of obtaining protection orders should be made easy, and understandable for victims.
- Psychosocial support should be prioritised and additional places of safety for victims should be set up.
Definition of Womxn: (this is a more inclusive, progressive term that not only sheds light on the prejudice, discrimination, and institutional barriers womxn have faced, but to also show that womxn are not the extension of men (as hinted by the classic Bible story of Adam and Eve), but are their own free and separate entities. It is more intersectional than womyn because it includes trans-women and women of colour).