This year, Women of Substance SA will again play a significant role in the Acts 16 Stop the Abuse Campaign against all forms of abuse against men, women and children.

We call on all interested parties who would like to be a strong voice of influence in their communities in the Western Cape to join hands as we educate, inform, communicate and collaborate with all levels of society to positively influence the emotional and social landscape of the world we live in.

Violence in our society is often the symptom of deeper social problems. Together, we need to stand up against violence. 

The International 16 Days of Activism campaign focuses on generating an increased awareness of the negative impact that violence and abuse have on men, women and children, and the social fabric of our society. The campaign starts on 25 November and ends on 10 December every year.

The 16-day long campaign is another leg of the #356Days of Activism Campaign and #CountMeIn. These campaigns aim to challenge all South Africans to raise awareness about the negative impact of violence against men, women and children on all members of the community.

Why is this campaign important? 

The rights of women and children are fundamental human rights protected by our national Constitution. Gender-based and child violence, in all its different forms, devalues human dignity and the self-worth of the abused person and must be stopped in our society. The campaign can only succeed if we stand together to safeguard our society against this cycle of abuse.

What is abuse?

Abuse is any form of harm which can include when someone is:

  • hurting your body physically or sexually,
  • insulting you, or threatens you with violence,
  • harassing you sexually,
  • humiliating and degrading you at home or in public,
  • controlling how you use your money, 
  • preventing you from getting or keeping a job, or to see friends or relatives,
  • stalking you, by following you or visits you without your permission, 
  • harming your health or well-being, or 
  • monitoring your phone calls and telling you where you can and can’t go.

What’s the purpose of the campaign?
The campaign aims to:

  • Generate an increased level of awareness among all South Africans about the negative impact of violence and abuse on men, women and children.
  • Stand up to perpetrators of these offences to change their behavior.
  • Enhance and increase partnerships between government, the private sector, civil society, faith-based organisations, and the media in an effort to spread the message.
  • Raise funds for NGOs that provide invaluable support to the victims and survivors of violence.
  • Provide survivors with information on these services and organisations that can help reduce the impact of violence on their lives.
  • Engage actively with men and boys in the discourse about combating violence in our homes, our communities and in the workplace. 
  • Highlight the stories of survivors of gender-based violence and child abuse, and the impact that the campaign has had on their lives.

How can I support this campaign? 

Wear a white ribbon during the 16-day period. A white ribbon is a symbol of peace and symbolises your commitment to never commit or condone violence against women and children.

Other ways you can support the campaign:

Volunteer some of your time and energy in support of a non-governmental organisation or community group working in your area to help abused women and children. Use your life skills and knowledge to help support victims of abuse.

Speak out against abuse. 

  • Encourage silent victims to talk about abuse and ensure that they get help.
  • Report abuse to the police.
  • Encourage children to report bullying to teachers or the school principal.
  • Encourage men and boys to talk about abuse and actively discourage abusive behavior. 

Seek help if you’re emotionally, physically or sexually abusive to your partner or children. 

Encourage and talk to friends, relatives and colleagues to take a stand against the abuse. 

Spread the message and join the conversation on social media using #NoExcuse

Join your community policing forum (CPF): The community and local police stations are active partners in ensuring local safety and security. The goal of the CPF is to bring about effective crime prevention by launching intelligence-driven crime prevention projects in partnership with local communities. For more information on how to join, contact your local police station.

Women of Substance SA encourages you to stand tall and speak out during the 16 Days of Activism campaign.

Let’s make our communities safer and #Better Together. 

  • Speak out against abuse. 
  • Report abuse. 
  • The Western Cape Department of Community Safety can provide help and support to communities. If you know of a person or child being abused in your community, please report it.