Today we started the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence and Femicide. Taken from www.gov.za:
The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign (16 Days Campaign) is a United Nations campaign which takes place annually from 25 November (International Day of No Violence against Women) to 10 December (International Human Rights Day). Be an activist against GBV in your homes, communities, work and positions:
a. Challenge cultures and practices that perpetuate gender inequalities and consequent abuse of women and children at personal and societal level.
b. Play your part:
– Reject and report abusers
– Act and don’t look away! Do not protect abusers, report them! Sign the Pledge Against Gender-Based Violence. Do not engage in abusive activities and become an abuser
– Stop abuse. Challenge and denounce cultural practices that perpetuate gender inequalities. Be sensitive and supportive to GBV victims
– share helpful information and support causes near you. Seek personal help to change harmful behaviors such as alcohol and substance abuse. Teach children values of gender equality. Protect children from exposure to violence and harmful content on internet and social media, including pornography, sexual solicitation. Develop policies that prevent and deal with gender based violence in your sector, workplace and communities. Organize targeted community outreach and dialogues on solution towards a gender equal society.
The Minister in the Presidency said on the news tonight that Gender Based Violence happens in the bedroom. It happens in the family.
It certainly is a terrible scourge that women and girls (and also boys) are the target of some men. They rape, beat up and kill innocent women and children … and as the minister says … and I add … “often … it happens in the home and in the bedroom”. We can blame the women for their dress code; we can blame the alcohol, dagga and drugs for taking control; we can blame all sorts of things, but men need to take action and responsibility. Where has society slipped to that the weaker partner and children are treated and abused so badly?
1Pe 3:7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
Mt 18:2 He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3 And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5 “And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. 6 But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”
Mt 18:10 “See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”
I walked to where Jenny was sitting watching the TV News and noticed her hand over her face. I asked what the matter was. She said: “I don’t want to see that.” To see what I asked … and she pointed to the TV. They were showing gory incidents of women and children who had been abused and raped and murdered and their bodies disposed of. I agreed with her and changed the channel. It is so horrific you don’t what to hear it or see it … but it is reality! I think we will do well to put into practice some of the things above from the government’s webpage … but there is more …
How about spending a dedicated time every day, at the same time to pray for the protection of women and children remembering that they live next door to you, are in your church, go to the same schools and shops as you do? But never forget to pray for those women and children who live in disadvantaged areas such as townships, shack towns and rural areas. It’s not that Gender Based Violence does not happen is towns and suburbs. It does, but the outlying areas are the most vulnerable.
How about trying to share the gospel far and wide? Prisons do not help because they become free hotels. Our courts operate under lots of pressure as their capacity is limited. Our Police Services and National Prosecuting Authority are equally understaffed. The chances that many perpetrators of Gender Base Violence and Femicide get away with their crimes. “South Africa is said to have the highest statistics of gender-based violence in the world, including rape and domestic violence” (Foster 1999; The Integrated Regional Network [IRIN], Johannesburg, South Africa, May 25, 2002). But … there is one way to change the heart of men … share the gospel with them. Share the complete gospel with them. When they know that there is a real eternal heaven for followers of Jesus and a real eternal hell for those who reject Jesus and for those who abuse, rape and murder little girls and teens and women … they might re-evaluate their life style and repent and believe and be saved. You must never underestimate the power of the gospel to save and the power of the Holy Spirit to transform.
If you are a man, how about you “adopting” a boy, teenager or young man. Tell him and show him what a real man is like before a Holy God. Show him the value and worth of women and children. Explain to him that God requires him to protect and care for women and children. Teach him the gospel and demonstrate what intentional Christianity is all about.
Dear God, we are ashamed of the way some of our men treat our women and children. Please stop them in their tracks. Allow them to hear the gospel and become new creatures in Christ. Bless and protect our women. Amen.