Kairos News Tabloid Volume 16, October 07, 2020

Gender-Based Violence Awareness Campaign Held At K1 Park…

Ending gender-based discrimination and violence is a global priority that requires collective action. On Thursday 27 August a Gender-Based Violence Awareness Campaign was held at K1 Park. This event was facilitated by the Ward 68 OSS/WAR Room Executive Team. Their Executive Secretary Mr. Neil Axford stated; “Through unity by all NGOs, Government Stakeholders and Community Leaders, it was a Great Initiative where NGOs were able to highlight their Services Rendered to assist those affected by Gender-Based Violence. Government Stakeholders were on board to Empower Community Members on how to use the available reporting mechanisms with regard to this issue. Community Leaders also shared Testimonies and words of encouragement to all”

The message was loud and clear! Abuse is learned behavior! Sometimes people witness it in their own families. Other times they learn it from friends or popular culture. However, abuse is a choice, and it’s not one that anyone has to make. Many people who experience or witness abuse growing up decide not to use those negative and hurtful ways of behaving in their own relationships. While outside forces such as drug or alcohol addiction can sometimes escalate abuse, it’s most important to recognize that these issues do not cause abuse. Abusive people believe that they have the right to control and restrict their partners while enjoying the feeling that exerting their power gives them. They often believe that their own feelings and needs should be the priority in the relationship, so they use abusive tactics to dismantle equality and make their partners feel less valuable and deserving of respect in the relationship.

Wendy Augustine of Wentworth Victim Friendly Organisation urges GBV victims to seek help urgently. “Counselling will be of great help to you. You will be able to understand that what you are experiencing is not normal.” Anyone can be abusive and anyone can be the victim of abuse. It happens regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, race, or economic background. If you are being abused by your partner, you may feel confused, afraid, angry, and sometimes trapped. All of these emotions are normal responses to abuse. You might also blame yourself for what is happening. But, no matter what others might say, you are never responsible for your partner’s abusive actions. Being abusive is a choice. It’s a strategic behavior the abusive person uses to create their desired power dynamic. Regardless of the circumstances of the relationship or the pasts of either partner, no one ever deserves to be abused.

A contrite Anice Isaacs confesses; “In order to heal, in order to move on, I have acknowledged the truth of what I have done, and turned to God. I recognize my wife as a full and real human being, and I acknowledge the harm I have caused and I feel remorseful. I have taken responsibility for my actions and done extensive work to understand what made me commit this violence. I do realize that I learned this behavior from my father, who also physically abused my mother”.

Norma Maclou, of  Malibongwe, has also experienced gender-based violence in two of her relationships. “You need to ask; why is it I still love someone who abuses me? Why is it I need to numb myself with someone who is like a drug to me? With someone who is no good for me?

I had to learn that my propensity for this kind of addiction was in my way before I ever met my first partner. Only then could I stop trying to fix him and focus on healing myself.

It comes down to self-esteem. With zero self-worth, we attract those who treat us as worthless. You need to understand what caused that and how you came to feel that you aren’t good enough. I came to terms with this and eventually married a good man. There are some good men out there”, she advises.

Pastor Allistair Barclay pointed out that the story of a woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11) is another example of Jesus disassociating himself with the patriarchal rules of his day. That only the woman was charged and convicted of a crime that required at least two participants, showed the injustice committed by men against women.

Sister Renette Roskruge stated; “Violence against women is a public health and human rights emergency. As a healthcare worker, I believe in a world where victims have access to the health care they need to thrive. Our mission is all about being advocates against gender-based violence, which includes promoting gender equality and providing survivors of violence with safe, effective, and compassionate care.” No matter why it happens, abuse is not okay and it’s never justified.        By: Lorraine Richards

BREAK THE SILENCE ON SEXUAL OFFENCES

Sexual offenses involve sex without consent, unwanted sexual touching, or being forced to engage in humiliating sexual activity.

Prevention

-Out There

Vulnerability increases:

  • in dark and deserted places at night;
  • if you look vulnerable (e.g. walking alone in desolate areas);
  • if you appear uncertain, for example, if you do not know where you are going;
  • if you do not lock your car doors and close your windows;
  • if you talk to strangers;
  • if you stop for stranded vehicles or people; or
  • if your vehicle is faulty and you have to stop for help.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Be alert at traffic lights and stop streets.
  • Walk close to the curb and face the oncoming traffic.
  • Try and keep to well-lit areas or where there are people.
  • Do not hitch-hike.
  • Do not pick up hitch-hikers.
  • Keep a whistle with you and blow it if you need help.

-At home

  • Do not allow a stranger into your home even if he is delivering something or providing a service.
  • Ask for an identity document or phone his/her office to check his/her identity.
  • Invest in the best locks and security you can afford.
  • Never tell anyone that you are alone at home and make sure the children know not to do so.
  • Know your neighbors-and together plan ahead for how you will respond in a crisis.
  • Know your local police station- and discuss safety matters with the police.
  • Become involved with local crime prevention efforts with the community police forum or police.

-On a date

-Do not allow anyone to touch you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable-be firm and clear and say NO!

  • -Do not leave a party or social event with someone you do not know or have just met-say NO!
  • -Ask friends for help if someone ignores you when you say NO!

Issued by: SAPS Communication and Liaison Services & Crime Prevention

Page 2 Kairos News, South Durban Basin-October 07, 2020 

Economic Abuse, A Silent Form of Gender-Based Violence    

Withholding money, controlling the household spending, or refusing to include you in financial decisions can be defined as family violence.  Patriarchal power structures dominate in many societies, in which male leadership is seen as the norm, and men hold the majority of power. Patriarchy is a social and political system that treats men as superior to women. In a relationship where some form of abuse is present — whether physical or emotional — it is not uncommon that an abusive partner extends their power and control into the area of finances. This financial abuse can be very difficult to recognize. It can be something as innocent as an abuser telling their partner what they can and cannot buy, or something as major as an abuser restricting a partner’s access to all finances.

The manipulation of money and other economic resources is one of the most prominent forms of coercive control, depriving women of the material means needed for independence, resistance, and also escape. Lack of access to economic resources is a reason why many women feel that they have no choice but to stay with an abuser. Economic barriers to leaving can result in women staying with abusive men for longer and experiencing greater danger, injuries, and even homicide as a result. Domestic abuse is often about isolating the victim; the perpetrator works to weaken her connections with family and friends, making it extremely difficult to seek support. Sometimes the victim is isolated from her own children. Perpetrators will often try to reduce a woman’s contact with the outside world to prevent her from recognizing that his behavior is abusive and wrong. Isolation leads women to become extremely dependent on their controlling partner.

Perpetrators are often well respected or liked in their communities because they are charming and manipulative. This prevents people from recognizing the abuse and isolates the woman further. The perpetrator often minimizes, denies, or blames the abuse on the victim. Victims may be ashamed or make excuses for themselves and others to cover up the abuse. Imagine being told every day that you’re worthless and the impact that this has on your self-esteem.

Victims have very limited freedom to make decisions in an abusive relationship, they are often traumatized, regularly told that they cannot manage on their own. Fear is constant and they live in a world of daily terror. A victim who did not wish to be identified for fear of recrimination said; “Counselling doesn’t work because he also abuses me in the counseling room and I felt that the female counselor allowed him to do that.

I have come to the point where I want to die, and people who care about me are concerned I will self-harm.

One counselor actually said to me, I don’t ordinarily say this to people but I think you should leave for your own good”. By controlling access to money women are left unable to support themselves and do not have access to even the most basic needs. The support isn’t there when they need it. Asking for help is not easy. Misunderstandings about domestic abuse often prevent professionals from knowing what to do, how to talk about it, or where to direct women disclosing the abuse.           By: Lorraine Richards

The Aftermath of Rape

In a case of rape

  • Try not to panic;
  • Common sense is your best defense;
  • You cannot always defend yourself and your resistance may cause serious injury;
  • If the attacker is dangerous, cooperate, and try to negotiate.
  • Submission is not consent;
  • Try and remember what the attacker looks like-his age, race, height, hair color, scars, tattoos, clothes, voice, and jewelry.
  • Scream, yell, blow your whistle or run away if you possibly can.
  • Do not bathe or change your clothes after an attack-keep all the evidence so that it can be used by the police for further investigation.
  • Report the crime to the Police Service straight away: go to the police station or phone 086 10111.

After a rape

  • Every victim of rape responds differently-but it is likely that you will benefit from help.

You may feel:

  • Dirty and want to wash repeatedly;
  • Scared and afraid to go out;
  • That it is your fault and that you are guilty; or
  • You cannot sleep, have nightmares, cannot eat, cannot stop crying, or that you want to forget it as quickly as possible and get on with your life.

None of these responses are unusual or unnatural-remember that there is always someone to help you.

Survivor support programs, psychologists, counselors, health care or social workers, employers, friends, family, or church members-ask the police officer dealing with your case to recommend someone to help you.

You have the right to say no!

No one has the right to force you into sexual activity, no matter what your relationship with the person is.

This means no one can force you to have sex, or touch you in a sexual way without your consent, or force you to perform the sexual activity you find unpleasant or humiliating.

Remember-a sexual assault is NOT your fault.

Issued by: SAPS Communication and Liaison Services & Crime Prevention

                    

Kairos News, South Durban Basin-October 07, 2020            Page 3

The Khoisan Peoples; An Ostracized Minority In Their Own Country

Cultural Imperialism is the imposition by one usually politically or economically dominant community onto another non-dominant community. It is a form of imperialism, in that the imposing community forcefully extends the authority of its way of life over the other population by either transforming or replacing aspects of the non-dominant community’s culture.

Indigenous Khoi and San people occupied Southern Africa hundreds, maybe thousands, of years before colonization. The colonization of Southern Africa brought about oppression on the Indigenous Peoples through struggles against cultural dominance by imperialism. These Imperialists used force or influence upon the Indigenous Peoples to submit to their rules, beliefs, and culture by invading, conquering, and developing everywhere they could. The indigenous people were categorized into groups of lower social standing class and treated in a dehumanizing manner.

Despite the fact that indigenous people never tried to harm these invaders, the invaders turned their cooperation and friendly relationship into conflict, war, and terrorism to expropriate the homeland of the indigenous people.

By 1656 the first conflict between the Dutch and local Khoisan erupted. This occurred as a result of the appropriation of land by Dutch farmers. The Khoisan were nomadic and felt they should have free access to all the land in the area to graze their cattle, as had been the case up to that point, while the Dutch farmers had been given land as part of the policy of freehold ownership where they farmed and lived. The Khoisan saw the Dutch as competition for available grazing land, and as invaders who were curbing their freedom of movement.  The Europeans in turn regarded the Khoisan to be inferior and a ready labor pool. The Khoisan in desperation attempted to regain their territory by attacking the Dutch in 1659 and 1673 but lost many men in the conflicts.

On 8 April 1713, the smallpox epidemic broke out in the Cape Colony. It spread among both the Europeans and Khoisan. The Khoisan had never been exposed to smallpox and had no natural resistance to the disease. Many of the survivors who fled came into conflict with other Khoisan groups. This resulted in the Drakenstein region suffering the most as the epidemic continued for between three and four months. In 1755 and 1767 two more smallpox epidemics almost eradicated the entire Khoisan population.

Those who survived were forced to become westernized, Christianised, and had to learn to speak Dutch, which later became Afrikaans. They even adopted the European style of dressing. Land and water resources and pasture were denied to the Khoisan pastoralists who found it increasingly difficult to sustain themselves in a land in which access to limited water resources was necessary for survival. In a slow, non-catastrophic process the Khoisan were gradually squeezed out of the lands that they had once occupied, as European settlers alienated the springs and permanent watercourses. The survivors of this process often became clients of European settlers and applied their skills in animal husbandry to the invaders’ livestock instead of their own. “Savage” is a colonialist term that has, in effect, been used for centuries to cast Indigenous peoples as less than human in order to make it easier to justify abuses against them. 

The effect that stereotyping had on Indigenous women is one of the main reasons why non-Indigenous people committed violent crimes of hate towards Khoisan women and girls. Some non-Indigenous people believed that indigenous women are dirty, promiscuous, and overtly sexualized, which made these women vulnerable to violent assaults. Colonial culture has been the foundation of these stereotypes, creating a relationship of violence and hatred, which justifies the treatment of First Nations peoples to this day. Culture and its heritage reflect and shape values, beliefs, and aspirations, thereby defining a people’s national identity. It is important to preserve our cultural heritage because it keeps our integrity as a people.

Unlike other native groups, the Khoisan are not recognized as their country’s first inhabitants, and their identity is largely invisible, forgotten even by most current descendants. Traditional customs, such as plant-based medicine and hunting, are dismissed as primitive. Much of the ancient Khoisan rock art still lies unmarked on private land, where it is desecrated with graffiti and often stolen by thieves and sold to archaeology collectors. These days, because of cultural imperialism, those who identify as Khoisan are an ostracised minority, in a country of which they are the First Nation inhabitants.                                   By: Lorraine Richards

Page 4                    Kairos News, South Durban Basin-October 07, 2020 

Heritage Day: keeping The Khoisan Culture Alive In Petingo People’s Park, Austerville.

Every day people all over the world celebrate their cultural heritage, simply by living their lives in a way that embodies who they are and where they came from. One day in a year is set aside to celebrate the joint history and heritage of the country. Heritage Day encourages us to celebrate all the diverse cultures of our country and to bring awareness to important cultural monuments and sites. The initiative calls on South Africans to “unite around fires, share our heritage and wave our flag”. Shisha nyama or “braai” is the equivalent of a barbeque – but the comparison stops there as this activity is deeply entrenched in South African food culture and is more than just a food experience; it’s a community activity. Have your meat with pap, and you will be one of the guys. This was the aura at the Petingo Peoples Park in Austerville, on Thursday, 24 September, where many community members came together to celebrate Heritage Day Khoisan style.

They braaied and reminisced around the bonfire. They even heeded the President’s call to dance in unity to the tune of ‘Jerusalema’. Sitting around a fire is the perfect way to unwind with loved ones. In fact, talking around a fire is credited with Khoisan culture tens of thousands of years ago. It’s how our ancestors bonded, relaxed, and entertained each other. They sang songs, told stories, and
engaged in elaborate dances, which we can still do to this day. The Petingo Peoples’ Park Committee have suggested that they will return to this tradition, even in their day to day discussions. A study of Africa’s Kalahari Bushmen at Utah University suggests that stories told over firelight helped human culture and thought to evolve by reinforcing social traditions, promoting harmony and equality, and sparking the imagination to envision a broad sense of community, both with distant people and the spirit world.

Deon Amos of the Petingo People’s Park committee would like to thank the Neighbourhood for supporting the Heritage Day Celebrations. The Organization is progressively working towards the Park’s official Launch during the month of December, with the hope of the Ethekwini municipality’s support towards building infrastructure, namely; toilets, Restrooms, Play Area. Outdoor facilities such as; a gym. Recreational facilities such as Astroturf skills and training center, bicycle tracks, and space for arts and culture. This Non-Profit Organization recently registered with the aim of progressively working towards supporting the youth and kids of the most vulnerable areas in the community, where crime, social ills, and substance abuse is rife.

“We thank all those who have partnered with us on this journey and welcome those who would like to participate in assisting in making this dream come true”. We have an opportunity to give a voice to our ancestors, elders, and our future generation to reclaim our cultural identity through education in solidarity, through exposure, and bringing awareness.                             By: Lorraine Richards

Miss October 2020-Sharon Gordon

Our Miss October 2020 is professional nurse Sharon Gordon. She is the embodiment of the goddess Maat who is seen as a beautiful woman wearing a long white gown. On her head, she wears a golden crown topped with a pure white feather. She is as eternally wise as she is loving, and a very powerful guide to have on your side.

Her message is one of hope. She assures you that no matter how challenging the situations may be in your life; no matter how difficult the relationships, she is here to help you regain your balance and find your center. She will help you to find the right words, and the right action to alleviate your stress. She will replace your fear and worry with the inner knowledge that you are in a state of divine grace.

Sharon is very gentle and caring with those around her and tries to motivate them to achieve their best.  Charming and composed, she enjoys situations where she has the chance to guide and offer moral support. She is extremely considerate and loving, and when she is not out there trying to save the world, she turns into a very introspective being and enjoys meditation and relaxation techniques.

She is an individual who craves peace and balance, and her aim is to save the world one day at a time.                   By: Lorraine Richards

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