In support of the World Council of Churches's (WCC) worldwide movement, the Gender Unit of the Faculty of Theology at Stellenbosch University, launched its own Thursdays in Black campaign on February 7. The protest movement against all forms of violence and rape requires people on Thursday to wear black in solidarity with victims of violence and rape. A few US employees answered the question of how they think violence and rape could be wiped out.
“As people say, 'Don't do to others that you wouldn't do to yourself!", says Ms Estelle Muller.
“Rape, sexual abuse and harassment will be eradicated when men truly and completely regard women as their equal, and if they no longer use them to dominate, control and manipulate others. There was a campaign a while ago: Real men do not rape. True men don't hurt women in body and mind," says Prof Julie Claassens.
“By critically dealing with the gender expectations and gender roles that we so often take for granted in our communities – which is the basis of violent action and patriarchal behavior," says Dr Nina Müller van Velden
“The violence against women and children can only be eradicated via a collective effort. For churches this means the recognition of the many ways our lives are shaped by the normalisation of violence. Our task is to work for a society wherein women and children may enjoy life in abundance; our time necessitates that women receive priority," is Mr Ashwin Thyssen's opinion.
“Violence and rape can be wiped out if there is no blind eye to the crimes. If you don't want to get involved directly, there are emergency numbers that you can call. It's important that if children are involved, the crime is reported to a social or community worker," Ms Mienie Philander said.
“To stop violence against all people, the life-threatening men, who in most cases are responsible for violence and rape, will have to acknowledge their share in all forms of violence and take responsibility," said Mr Stefan de Klerk.
Main Photo: From left to right are Julia Claassens, Estelle Muller and Mienie Philander. Behind them are Ashwin Thyssen, Stefan de Klerk and Nina Muller van Velden.
Photographer: Jacobie Helena