Scores of people across the Western Cape formed human chains as a show of support for victims and survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) on 05 December 2023 as part of the 16 Days of Activism For No Violence Against Women and Children Campaign.
The human chain symbolises and highlights the Western Cape Government’s (WCG) commitment to fighting GBV 365 days a year, not just during the 16 Days of For No Violence Against Women and Children Campaign.
It also highlighted our commitment to support survivors of violence and abuse.
As an issue that impacts all our communities, the WCG believes in a whole-of-society and whole-of-government approach in addressing the scourge of GBV. This human chain is symbolic of citizens standing together against violence and abuse, whether against women, children, men, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, the elderly, persons with disabilities, and other vulnerable groups.
In Cape Town, Premier Alan Winde, Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Sharna Fernandez, members of the Cabinet and Provincial Legislature, Western Cape Government (WCG) staff, stakeholders, and ordinary citizens gathered in Wale street.
As the throng of people lined up on Wale Street chanting “Enough is enough!”, Premier Winde addressed the crowd.
“Thank you to every member of Cabinet, the Western Cape Government, members of the Provincial Legislature, NGOs, and citizens for showing up. Gender-based violence can stop with us and we must all take that responsibility. We need to work towards GBV not being a part of our culture. It starts here, it starts with us. Thank you to all those standing here in solidarity with those who are held captive and who are held in fear by this scourge. We all have a responsibility to stand up and show that we will not allow violence to be part of our culture,” said Premier Winde.
Provincial Minister Fernandez said, “I wish to encourage citizens to become ambassadors for peace and GBV, because our society is far too violent. Government does not have a silver bullet, we do not have enough social workers, doctors, nurses, or teachers. What we need is first responders.”
“We’ve seen great examples of this in Delft where men and women from the neighborhood watch stepped up and received training as GBV ambassadors. We HAVE GBV ambassadors in Malmesbury. We are busy training GBV ambassadors in Theewaterskloof, and even as far as Prince Albert, we have trained GBV ambassadors who volunteer at the trauma room on a weekend or busy periods. We need to encourage a spirit of volunteerism, where individuals take responsibility. Bring the change you want to bring in your home, your street, and your community so we can make the province a safer place to live.”
If you need help, or know of someone who does, here are some helpful numbers:
Report any abuse to the Department of Social Development’s toll-free number: 0800 220 250. You can also visit your nearest DSD office, or visit: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/dept/social-development/facilities/987
Stop Gender Violence helpline: 0800 150 150
SAPS: 08600 10111
Find out more about our safety services for women and children by sending an SMS with the word INFO to 35 395.