Abuse is found in every walk of life, and in every region of the country. Abuse does not ask colour, race, age or profession.
It is evident that the high rate of unemployment in all our communities leads to alcoholism, drug abuse, gang violence, rape, domestic violence, child abuse, elderly abuse and many other forms of abuse. Shebeens and prostitution has become the norm in today’s life. It is normal to sit around drinking beer or wine early on a weekday morning. Drug lords do business in broad daylight. Women often blame themselves for their partner’s abusive behaviour towards them and even their children. Having lost their dignity and respect, they fear for their lives but have nowhere to go.
Domestic Violence knows no social, economical, racial or religious boundaries. There is no typical profile of a batterer. Batterers often live in a state of denial. They do not recognise that they have a problem and usually deny the existence of violence in their homes. They often refuse to accept responsibility for their actions, instead choose to blame outside influence, such as work stress, drugs and/or alcohol.
Batterers tend to be possessive and jealous. This leads them to isolate their victims from family and friends. Interestingly, most batterers also see themselves as victims. They often believe that they are the ones being overpowered, and that through their violent behaviour they are gaining a measure of control. To the outside world, batterers’ project an image of self control and calm. They may appear to be completely normal, they do not necessarily loose their tempers at work or shout at strangers on the street, quite the opposite are in fact portrayed.
Battering is about maintaining power and dominance in the relationship. No one has the right to control another person. It is not unusual for victims of abuse to believe that they deserve the violence bestowed upon them. Some victims routinely suggest that they provoked an attack, which is not true of course; no one deserves to be beaten, killed, abused in any way or form. No one has the right to assault another human being whether it is physical, emotional, or any type of abuse. It is estimated that one in four to one in six women in South Africa are in an abusive relationship. In areas such as Guguletu, Khayalitsha, Mitchell’s Plain, Elsies River, Manenberg, Phillipi, Delft where unemployment, poverty, drugs and alcohol abuse is the order of the day, severe strain is placed on relationships. Woman battering is a common occurrence and a normal part of daily living. A violent home has an extremely negative impact on the whole family, leaving deep and sometimes incurable emotional scars.
challenges that men face
The transition to democracy has changed the face of S.A. while at the same time created new challenges and opportunities for men and women. It is argued that women have benefited the most from our young democracy though a host of state initiatives geared at empowering women and bringing into mainstream society. At the same time men feel the traditional space they used to occupy is becoming smaller, as women are taking their rightful place at all levels in society. The rise of women into new roles and positions of power have impacted hugely upon men, and can play a role in domestic violence and unabated violent crimes against women such as rape and even brutal killings.
It is these assumptions our programme seeks to explore. Our effort supports men thus creating safe spaces at community level to deal with issues impacting on our lives. Young men in our violent society seek guidance and support, as the new role models have become powerful men asserting influences over them. In the words of Nelson Mandela (Madiba) “evil survives and thrives when good men stand idle doing nothing”.
The program is in the process of exploring issues around Masculinity, Gender Based Violence, Culture and Relationships.
This program is developed to train men and women. Our target group is men, but not excluding women, hoping to change their mindset, empowering them to become positive and giving beings.