Community Corner

ACTS 16: Stop The Abuse Campaign 2019

todayNovember 25, 2019 36

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Since 1991, more than 6,000 organizations from approximately 187 countries have participated in the16 Days of activism campaign. It is a discussion to challenge violence against women and girls. The campaign runs every year from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, until 10 December.

Over the years it has evolved to include all children and not only girls. It aims to raise awareness of the negative impact that violence and abuse have on women and children and to rid society of abuse permanently.

WOMEN OF SUBSTANCE SA (WOSSA) believe that this topic is of such importance that goes beyond the borders of 16 days and needs to be an ongoing discussion and education. Violence and abuse against men, women and children have been on the rise, affecting more now than ever before. We aspire to bring a meaningful change in every life as this will be the launch of a compelling vision since our inception in 2007.

Since 2014 WOSSA has been hosting awareness events and fundraisers to bring attention to this ever-growing epidemic. Seeing the impact on the lives of those affected directly and indirectly by the many forms of abuse has been the catalyst of this campaign to start discussions and raise awareness. We invite partners and other organizations to assist and empower all those impacted by any of the various forms of abuse.
It is our mandate to educate and give a voice to those who have otherwise voiceless. Through our campaign, we aim to teach, raise awareness and share stories of hope and victory. While we appreciate the drive and support of 16 Days of Activism, this topic needs to be ongoing and not just isolated to a particular time of the year.
“We may not be able to change the world, but we can change a part of the world we can touch”

We aim to highlight 16 various forms of abuse – from the more prevalent to the types less spoken of – which impacts human life. From physical, mental, financial abuse to cyberbullying, and more. We also highlight the abuse and violence against men. Though not many statistics are available for SA, international research has shown that more than 40% of men are abused. We see a world where relationships are more positive, healthy, with no violence. Humans living in harmony.

This year WOSSA aims to enter homes like never before! By reaching out to businesses, schools, various faith or church groups and families in various communities to act as ‘HOSTS’ be it in their homes, campus, church small groups, workplace talks, lunchtime chat rooms, family homes or other forms of discussion groups. Each voluntary ‘HOST’ and others will have access to a PDF document and a short video on each topic of abuse for discussion and possible action where needed. Each day a different topic on abuse will be discussed, thus raising awareness, starting discussions and pointing those who need help in the right direction.

WOSSA has been invited by the Swartland Municipality in the Western Cape Region to spearhead the campaign on their behalf.  During this period WOSSA will have a massive drive on the 30 November which includes a significant walk from 2 points in Malmesbury ending off at the community centre.
The walk will end off with food stalls, face painting and fun for the kids but will also include self-defence demonstrations, information stands which will be set up by various NGO’s the municipality and government departments where the community can have access to relevant information. It is a day that aims to rally the community as we kick the campaign in the region.

⮚ Raise awareness, open discussions and offer solutions
⮚ Rally community participation and attract volunteer hosts to be active in our education drive and spread the word
⮚ Combine social media, the arts, journalism, various organizations, NGO’s and businesses draw attention to the many ways abuse affects the lives of everyone in every community
⮚ Ensure mobilization of all communities to promote collective responsibility in the stand to stop the abuse and end the violence
⮚ Emphasize the fact that the solution lies with all of us collectively

Written by: Sean Loots

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