Gender-based violence is a widespread, deadly problem.

It’s mostly characterised by the murder of a female partner by an intimate male partner.

A woman is murdered every three hours in our country.

About 943 children were murdered last year and this year.

During the same period, there were 42 289 rape cases, 7 749 sexual assault cases and 2 076 attempted sexual offences.

Child abuse in our land is frighteningly widespread, with 35% of our kids experiencing some form of sexual abuse in their lifetime.

We should neither tolerate violence, nor allow ourselves to be bullied into silence.

Gender-based violence is a gross violation of women and children’s fundamental human rights.

It takes considerable courage to disclose a rape ordeal.

Because of the risk of invasion of one’s privacy and the resulting stigma and trauma, thousands of sexual assaults have gone unreported in South Africa.

It’s estimated that 40% of women will be raped in their lifetime, and that only one in four cases are reported.

Only 14% of perpetrators of rape are convicted.

Unofficially, 120 women are raped every day.

Those who murder and abuse our women and children must be declared enemies of mankind.

These individuals are in reality cold-hearted sex fiends.

Society bears guilt for condoning sex pests.

The defilement of our women and children continues unabated and goes unpunished.

The law must punish the defiler harshly.

Our judicial system must deal with this scourge in a manner that’s within the ambit of the law.

Every day, headlines reveal the mutilation of our women and savage sexual assault against the young.

These heinous crimes have now reached epidemic proportions.

A moral sense of outrage envelops the land as many cry for help while others scream for adequate retribution.

Our judicial system must mete out the severest sanction to offenders.

The criminal element has become bolder by the day, as many are too scared to lay charges, an act that emboldens savage elements in our society.

What we’re witnessing today is a manifestation of this ugly truth. We have beasts in society who don’t have values or morals.

We must conjure a unified solution.

Human life is intrinsically valuable and therefore worthy of dignity and respect.

This sacredness is best protected by imposing the harshest punishment permissible by the law of the land.

As a nation united against GBV, we must all remember the words in this powerful message: “Wa thinta abafazi, wathinta imbokodo.”

  • Farouk Araie