The International 16 Days of Activism campaign focuses on generating an increased awareness of the negative impact that violence and abuse have on individuals, and the social fabric of our society. The campaign starts on 25 November and ends on 10 December every year.
The 16-day long campaign is another leg of the #356Days of Activism Campaign and #CountMeIn. These campaigns aim to challenge all South Africans to raise awareness about the negative impact of violence against men, women and children, thus affecting all members of the community.
Why is this campaign important?
The rights of men, women and children are fundamental human rights protected by our national Constitution. Gender-based and child violence, in all its different forms, devalues human dignity and the self-worth of the abused person and must be stopped in our society. The campaign can only succeed if we stand together to safeguard our society against this cycle of abuse.
What is abuse?
Abuse is any form of harm which can include when someone is repeatedly:
- hurting your body physically or sexually,
- insulting you, or threatening you with violence,
- harassing you sexually,
- humiliating and degrading you at home or in public,
- controlling how you use your money,
- preventing you from getting or keeping a job, or to see friends or relatives,
- stalking you, by following you or visiting you without your permission,
- harming your health or well-being, or
- monitoring your phone calls and telling you where you can and cannot go.
What is the purpose of the campaign?
The campaign aims to:
- Generate an increased level of awarenessamong all South Africans about the negative impact of violence and abuse on any individual person.
- Stand upto perpetrators of these offences to change their behavior.
- Enhance and increase partnershipsbetween government, the private sector, civil society, faith-based organisations, NGO’s and the media in an effort to spread the message.
- Raise fundsfor NGOs that provide invaluable support to the victims and survivors of violence.
- Provide survivors with informationon these services and organisations that can help reduce the impact of violence on their lives.
- Engageactively with especially men and boys in the discourse about combating violence in our homes, our communities and in the workplace.
- Highlight the storiesof survivors of gender-based violence and child abuse, and the impact that the campaign has had on their lives.
How can I support this campaign?
- Wear a white ribbonduring the 16-day period. A white ribbon is a symbol of peace and symbolises your commitment to never commit or condone violence and abuse.
- Join our Awareness Walkin Malmesbury, Westbank and Abbottsdale and/or arrange your own walk elsewhere.
- Check this websitefor a daily description and information about a specific type of abuse for 16 days during 25 November to 10 December 2019.
- Social Media Saturation Project.One of our NGO’s – Women of Substance SA will post daily Infograms on Facebook, WhatsApp and other Social Media platforms. We encourage every Swartland citizen to – every day – re-post, share and send the Infograms to your friends family and community on Facebook and WhatsApp.
- Check out our radioand printed media program for discussion and testimonies of victims who found hope and healing from abuse.
- Be active in the workplaceas we encourage employers to:
- Create fairness, equality and abuse prevention and anti-bullying and management policies and train and brief out policies to staff.
- Create low-risk whistle-blowing or reporting mechanisms internally which provides decisive protection to victims of abuse and bullying.
- Display abuse posters for each day of the Acts 16 Campaign dates.
- Encourage childrento be open and talk about abuse through:
- Participating in an Interschools arts competition.
- Purchasing and wearing a white ribbon at school.
- Speak to your church and youth leadersabout their response to abuse and what they are doing this year to add their voice to the community to #StopTheAbuse
Other ways you can support the campaign:
Volunteer some of your time and energy in support of a non-governmental organisation, church or community group working in your area to help abused women and children. Use your life skills and knowledge to help support victims of abuse.
Speak out against abuse.
- Encourage silent victims to talk about abuseand ensure that they get help.
- Report abuseto the police.
- Encourage children to report bullyingto teachers or the school principal.
- Encourage men and boys to talk about abuse and actively discourage abusive behavior.
Seek help if you’re emotionally, physically or sexually abusive towards your partner or children.
Encourage and talk to friends, relatives and colleagues to take a stand against the abuse.
Spread the message and join the conversation on social media using #NoExcuse #CountMeIn #Enough! #JustStop #WeSayNo
Join your community policing forum (CPF): The community and local police stations are active partners in ensuring local safety and security. The goal of the CPF is to bring about effective crime prevention by launching intelligence-driven crime prevention projects in partnership with local communities. For more information on how to join, contact your local police station.
We encourage you to stand tall and speak out during the 16 Days of Activism campaign.
Together, as a community, we can make a difference !