Women Abuse: Why don’t we talk about abuse more often?

I’m sure you’ve seen the campaign against women abuse by Thando Thabethe by now chomas. If you haven’t, let me catch you up quickly.

Okay so first of all, a campaign is a project or set of actions that a person/people take in order to achieve a certain goal. With this campaign, the goal is to raise awareness around women abuse, hoping it will lead to less women being abused and more women speaking up about it.

The campaign is called #MakeitStop and was launched this month, being Women’s Month. Thando Thabethe (who is a presenter and actress, you may know her as Nolwazi in Generations: The Legacy or Thando in My Perfectly family) started the campaign to raise awareness around the struggles women, especially in South Africa, go through every day.

Some of Thando’s closest celebrity friends such as Dineo Moeketsi, Manaka Ranaka and Denise Zimba, joined her in the campaign.  Some people didn’t like the campaign because it showed pictures of the celebrities with fake scars instead of real women with real scars. But let’s think about that for a moment chomas, is it really that easy for women to come out and say they were abused, and to also show that they were abused?

As we’ve discussed before, abuse is not just about being beaten or physically bruised and scarred. Abuse takes on many forms. Some people don’t even know they are being abused. So what is abuse according to the law? To release a group of photos depicting abused and obviously bruised women. The objective was to show the severity of the issue of Women Abuse and to make everyone aware that we may know of someone being abused, or that we too can become victims of abuse – most importantly we cannot keep quiet when abuse is taking place; we need to speak up when we witness abuse taking place.

According to the South African Domestic Violence Act of 1998, domestic violence is defined as “Sexual abuse; emotional abuse, verbal abuse, physical abuse, economic abuse, psychological abuse, stalking, damage to property, harassment, entry into the complainant’s residence without consent, where involved parties do not share the same residence; or any abusive or controlling behaviour towards a complainant, where such conduct harms, or may cause immediate harm to the safety, health or wellbeing of the complainant.”

The World Health Organization (WHO), conducted a study in 2013 on Women Abuse in South Africa and found that 50% of the women they surveyed had reported that they were victims of emotional and verbal abuse. This means that 1 in 2 South African women are victims of some form of abuse!

Any form of abuse can be difficult for the person being abused for many reasons. However, not talking about abuse can be one of the reasons abusers continue to abuse. When it comes to abuse, remember that the person who is being abused is not at fault. No one deserves to be abused, no matter what chomas.

Being abused also doesn’t mean that you are weak or that you are a punching bag. Seeking help or speaking up about abuse doesn’t mean that you’re telling everyone your business. It takes a lot of courage when dealing with abuse, and that’s why we need to stand up for ourselves and for the people we see in abusive relationships.

Remember the saying: “Wathinta abafazi wathint imbokodo” (You strike a woman, you strike a rock). You can be a rock for yourself, or you could be a rock for someone else, simply by speaking up .