Bitou Municipality participated in 16 Days of Activism Against Woman and Child Abuse, a national campaign, which began on 25 November 2010.
The municipality began the campaign with a march through town. Before setting off, the marchers were addressed by Executive Mayor Lulama Mvimbi.
He said society must encourage people to talk about abuse, especially abuse of children as they were the future leaders. If a child was abused at an early age, how did one expect that child to face the world, he asked.
To encourage women to stop cancelling their abuse cases that they had reported to the police, the mayor said the case must continue “even if you are still staying with the abuser”.
He added that he was impressed by the attendance of members of the South African Police Service, the Department of Social Development, Child Welfare and early childhood development stakeholders. Their participation in the march showed that the municipality was co-operating with other government departments.
The launch ended with all stakeholders marching from the Shell Ultra City to the main street.
The 16 Days of Activism campaign ended with a ceremony at New Horizon Community Hall on 10 December 2010.
Deputy Mayor Monica Seyisi spoke to community members about the abuse of women and children. She urged people to act against abuse, saying the police, Child Welfare, social workers and all relevant departments must be informed of any type of abuse.
The 16 Days of Activism is an annual United Nations campaign running from 25 November to 10 December; many countries take part. South Africa participates each year, with its focus mainly on raising awareness of the negative impact of violence against women and children. The campaign has been running since 1999.
Several important days are marked during the 16 Days:
25 November is International Day of No Violence Against Women;
1 December is World Aids Day;
3 December is International Day of Persons with Disabilities;