Men take a stand against gender violence

Men from various sporting clubs gathered at the traffic lights on the corner of Jakes Gerwel Drive and Morgenster Road for a placard demonstration against gender violence.

Men who belong to various sporting groups gathered at the traffic lights on the corner of Jakes Gerwel Drive and Morgenster Road to stage a placard demonstration against gender violence.

Chairperson of the Fullech Foundation for cancer survivors, Charles Fuller, who lived in Rocklands before moving to Parow, said it was important to get the men together for this cause.

“Men are the problem in gender-based violence, and it was important that we were the ones to do the placard demonstration,” he said.

He is a cancer survivor and decided earlier in the year to gather men to stand up against violence on women and children.

“Last week, I was speaking at a cancer breakfast and saw the poor turnout of men. It prompted me to plan this gathering even if it fell outside 16 Days of Activism.

We want to make a change as men, we need to support our women.

“You only ever see women on the corners of streets standing up for this issue,” he said.

The international 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children Campaign is marked annually from November 25 to December 10.

“I requested that all men and sports lovers attend hence most of the men and women who attended were wearing their favourite sports-team jerseys.

“I thought if men could give so much attention to following their various sports teams then they can also assist in helping stop this scourge. I am planning to have regular demonstrations in the new year,” he said.

A member of the Fullech Foundation, Jane Fuller, who attended the demonstration, said it was time gender violence was stopped.

“What else can we do but march and support victims? We need more help in this issue,” said Ms Fuller.

The chairperson of Cape Town Spurs Supporters Club, Melvyn Hendrickse, said women were not appreciated in society and should be treated as equals to their male counterparts.

“We cannot operate without women; they should be treated better. We are on a mission to make men aware of how women are treated by us,” he said.

Anti-crime activist Hanif Loonat who is also a member of SA FED Soccer Legends Western Cape, said raising awareness about abuse started in the home.

“Children and women are abused by their family members, in their homes every day. We need to start a campaign to help our children.

“Abused children, if not helped, become the drug addicts, to name a few. They suffer in silence, sometimes the family do not believe them,” he said.

If abuse is stopped, abuse in the community stops, he added.

He recalled how, when he was a teacher at Woodlands High School in the 1980s, the bodies of abused, murdered children had been found in the dunes along what is now Jakes Gerwel Drive, and Morgenster Road.

“Something must be done and it has to start with us,” said Mr Loonat.