That time of the year when the conversation around GBV is at its peak. This year’s campaign is coined around strategies to prevent violence against women and girls and as Ubuntu activists we thought of penning down our 2c on this. We strongly believe that if we are to make progress in our aim to #EndGBV then we need to attack it from the roots!How? We need to be aware of the indicators of domestic violence. From here, it is important that first we understand that GBV is not only limited to physical attacks but stretches to other forms such as emotional and verbal. The end game of abusers is usually to control or belittle the victim hence they will use any means necessary from physical attacks to verbal insults. If we can identify these signs from the word go and confront them then we might as well avoid a GBV situation.
Weed it out! #EndGBV
Secondly seriously we need to take action. If you identify the symptoms then what? We need to be ready to defend ourselves and others safely. Abusers can be violent people who need to be approached with caution. I know at times we feel like stopping an abuser is as easy as stepping up to them and blocking their fists but honestly its not. We need ways to prevent GBV without compromising the victim. There is safety in numbers. If the situation seems to be out of control (say when abuser is in the possession of a weapon) or if you lack manpower then contact the nearest police or GBV intervention organizations such as the Musasa Network. Regular checkups on family and friends can eventually lead to them opening up on their situations and avoiding prolonged abuse in silence.
Final word: Let’s actively fight to #EndGBV. After all our Facebook posts and twitter retweets, there is still work to be done on the ground. Let’s identify indicators and act on them. From the boyfriends who verbally belittle their girlfriends to the neighbours always fighting. Let’s attend seminars, report to the police, be the needed friends, and many more things all in the name of ending GBV. Let’s do it for our sisters, girlfriends, mothers. Let’s do it for ourselves! Be the better person.
SideNote: Let us take this opportunity to learn from others, two questions:
- what happens to the abusers after they are caught (and released after some time) and what measures are put in place to ensure that they won’t prey on others after release or repeat same offence on same victim?
- Why is it so damn hard to walk out of an abusive relationship?