Violence against women and children is unacceptable – a scourge we need to eradicate actively from our society. The first steps are to raise awareness about gender-based violence (GBV) and empower society to help victims (and victims to help themselves) and how to prevent and stop the violence and abuse.

16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children

The global 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign kicks off every year on 25 November (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) and culminates on Human Rights Day (10 December). Cause for Justice (CFJ) supports this UN-led international initiative to eliminate all forms of GBV. 

This year, we are focussing on the importance of raising our children with values that say loud and clear: no form of violence and abuse is acceptable! Preventing and eradicating GBV starts at home – healthy families provide children with the best opportunity to grow into healthy adults who contribute to creating and sustaining healthy communities. We want to see our children empowered to know what to do to protect themselves and others against GBV, and to report incidents (both now and as adults).

Let’s help set up the next generation for a bright and abuse free future. Let’s teach our children to respect themselves and others!

Values-based Sexuality Education: An Important Tool in Eliminating GBV from Society

Our 16 Days of Activism campaign emphasises the importance of values-based sexuality education in schools. But why are we talking about sexuality education when we are campaigning to stop GBV? Because teaching our children healthy values about sex, gender and relationships, is the first line of defence. 

Parents bear the primary responsibility (and privilege) of teaching their children about healthy sexuality and relationships in accordance with their family values and beliefs. Children who are taught to treat themselves – and others – with respect and dignity, will not participate in GBV and will speak out against it. This is why we say preventing GBV starts at home.  

Children need to learn from their parents that sex is not simply a recreational activity. A recreational view of sex risks seeing someone else’s (or your own) body as a mere “thing” to be used for sexual satisfaction – while our bodies and sexuality are worth far more! It also minimises the real and serious responsibilities that come with engaging in sexual activity. 

Most perpetrators of GBV are male and most victims are female. Values-based sexuality education teaches boys how to treat women and girls with respect. It teaches girls what respectable (i.e. acceptable) treatment by boys and men are – and what are not. 

This is why we must ensure that any sexuality education a child receives at home or in school, is values-based. It must also be scientifically accurate and age-appropriate. Thankfully, there are many great values-based programmes available!

Learn more about values-based sexuality education programmes watch these four introductory sessions (and/or contact us for info on more programmes/materials):

To learn more about the beneficial impact of values-based programmes and how to implement one in your school, watch this video of a headmaster sharing his school’s experience

Controversial and Ineffective Comprehensive Sexuality Education

Sadly, many South African children do not enjoy values-based sexuality education at home or school. As a result, they are not raised to be resilient to harmful messages about sexuality and relationships – and the destructive behaviours flowing from it. 

Some claim Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) will help protect children and end the scourge of GBV, but this just isn’t true. The controversial CSE content is not values-based and does not focus on abstinence and character development. What is more, studies gauging its impact, found CSE is ineffective and even harmful! The good news is, we know CSE is not compulsory for schools and we can take steps to ensure our children enjoy values-based sexuality education.

For a deep dive into important issues surrounding CSE, watch our six videos series where our panel of experts look at the following: 

  • The context and content of the Department of Basic Education’s Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) Scripted Lesson Plans: video 1.
  • Parents and counsellors/therapists’ concerns and experiences with CSE: video 2.
  • The philosophical and political elements of CSE (and radical gender ideology): video 3.
  • Gender identity disorder and transgender ideology: video 4.
  • A closing discussion (summary of issues): video 5.

Help end GBV by teaching children about healthy values and relationships

Our children are the future generations who will bear the responsibility to steward our country and the world – one day passing on the baton to their own children. We all have a part to play. One impactful way is to ensure that South African children receive scientifically accurate and age-appropriate values-based sexuality education in schools. This will help them understand what healthy values and relationships are, and to reject all forms of violence and abuse.

Join our 16 Days of Activism campaign: let’s stand together against GBV by standing for raising healthy children in healthy families. Now that is a cause we can all get behind!

REPORT INCIDENTS: Know where to go

Reporting violence and abuse is our shared social responsibility. Report any incidents you are aware of, or suspect is happening.

  • Sexual offences: Your closest police station (who will notify the SAPS Family Violence and Sexual Offences Unit).
  • Physical abuse / domestic violence: Your closest police station or the Provincial Department of Social Development.
  • Neglect: The Provincial Department of Social Development
  • Child labour: Your closest police station or the Department of Labour
  • Human trafficking: Your closest police station or the National Resource Line (see below).

HELP LINES: Know who to call

  • SAPS Crime Stop (report a crime anonymously): 08600 10111
  • Gender-Based Violence Command Centre (report GBV / counselling support): 0800 428 428
  • STOP Gender Violence Helpline: 0800 150 150
  • Childline (report child abuse): 0800 055 555
  • National Crisis Line (counselling service): 086 132 2322
  • AIDS Helpline: 0800 012 322
  • National Resource Line (human trafficking): 0800 222 777

Want to do more to help?

Support this cause by:

  • Contributing financially to help us champion the elimination of violence against women and children.
  • Telling others about Cause for Justice and the work we do.

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