Drakenstein Municipality shows up against GBV
The Western Cape Government is committed to ending the scourge of gender-based violence 365 days a year.
As the lead minister for GBV in the province, Minister Sharna Fernandez believes it is important to raise awareness around the issue wherever she goes.
“Government is limited in its resources when it comes to addressing social ills like gender-based violence. We cannot do it on our own. It is so important for communities to work with us as we raise awareness to ensure an end to the violent cycle of abuse, and support victims and survivors in the best way possible. Collaborations between different government spheres, NGOs and the private sector are also crucial,” says Minister Fernandez.
It is for this reason that Minister Fernandez joined the Drakenstein Municipality’s Men’s Gender-Based Violence Dialogue & March in Wellington on 22 April 2023.
Despite the rain and cold, residents and municipal officials marched down the streets of Wellington. They marched to show their support for those who’ve been afflicted by violence or abuse, while raising awareness about support services that are available for these individuals.
The municipality said: “The objective of this programme is to increase the available service provisioning and to raise community awareness of services for survivors as well as perpetrators of sexual violence and abuse. Our communities are negatively affected by the high and increasing rates of gender-based violence in society.”
Ward councilor Rita Andreas said this event is one of various GBV awareness campaigns the municipality’s Gender Forum is initiating, as it wants to reach as many residents as possible in the 33 wards in Drakenstein. This is a 365 days campaign, in line with provincial government’s focus.
The programme included an interactive play about domestic abuse, with a clear message: “Silence promotes violence,” encouraging the audience to speak up against abuse when they see it happening.
Minister Fernandez also shared the WCG’s “Break The Cycle” video and an interactive information session took place, facilitated by the Western Cape Department of Social Development’s Community Outreach Officer, Colleen Ryan.
The video is part of government’s GBV prevention media campaign, which has been broadcast on multiple platforms, including radio and television, following the journey of a man who was exposed to violence and abuse in his home as a child. Recognising that he’s about to repeat the cycle with his own family, he seeks help.
Minister Fernandez told residents: “I commend you for being here today. That shows a commitment to effecting change in your communities. All it takes is one voice to spread a message and to influence others to do better. Be ethical disruptors, if you see a man or woman inflicting pain on someone else, step in and stop it.”
For anyone in need of assistance, like counselling, services can be accessed by visiting your nearest DSD office, or by contacting one of our funded NPO partners. Services can also be accessed by calling the Gender-Based Violence Command Centre on 0800 428 428. More information about services can be found on helpformen.co.za.