Just as Women’s Month has passed in South Africa, devastating murder of a young woman in the Cape. The first-year university student who tried fighting back against her rapist, was bludgeoned to death and will sadly become another rape and murder statistic in South Africa. Yes, we scream out loudly about women’s rights and empowerment but, are we really empowered or do men still view women as the weaker sex?

When will this mindset change, for men to view women as more than just sex-symbols who can be manipulated, hurt, beaten, raped and murdered? Young girls (as young as school goers) are victims to such violence, and this is all too familiar to our news and courtroom scribes.

Recently, there has been a paradigm shift where women are speaking out for men to become more aware of their behaviour, rather than women watching over their backs.
This is such a revelation as men need to take responsibility for their actions. Is it always the woman’s fault just because she wore a short dress and walked down a lonely alley after campus?

Was she then asking for the attack as she looked vulnerable?
I am a mother of two young girls and my heart automatically skips a beat when reading about such violence against girls and women. I fear for their safety and I also greatly fear for the society in which they are raised. I am also a teacher who serves a community of young girls and boys and their families.

Sadly, we would have hoped that South African men would have (by now) began to be more courageous in their actions, and stand firmly as men of dignity and worth – but there is still much to be desired in this regard.

Do you know that as much as young school girls are exposed to violence, sexual and physical abuse from men within the community, so too are young boys also exposed to such violence?

Do you know that the men within our society are exposing their sons to violence within the home, to drugs, sexual exploitation and the rest; unfortunately these young boys are watching their trusted adults introduce them to the underworld? Do you also know that if we do not amplify our voice against violence against both young girls and boys this nightmare will never end?

Yes, I come across strongly because I see the impact of this on a daily basis. I see how older men take advantage of young girls – the ‘blessers’ of society. These girls know no different – and these men take advantage of their vulnerability.

So what do we do?
We say NO – we shout out loud and stand together for such violence to end. We stand in unity, both men and women and condemn such acts. We do not turn a blind eye to our neighbours who are abusing children, exposing them to drugs and sex, we make it our problem and stand in solidarity to make a difference. We do have gentlemen (who are real men) in the world and I call upon them to stand strong, to have a voice and use their wisdom to inspire other men to be ‘real men’ within the community.

About the columnist:
Krsangi Radhe is a neuro-linguistic programming practitioner, time line
therapist and coach. he is also an educator, public relations practitioner and motivational speaker.