LifeLine, a non-profit organisation that supports victims, survivors and perpetrators of gender-based violence, says it will use #100MenMarch to encourage men to start addressing other men’s perceptions and stereotypes about women’s sexuality.
“Generating conversations around gender-based violence helps men to speak out about their challenges and bring a stop to the belief of ‘tigers don’t cry’. It also assists men and women to work hand-in-hand as partners to achieve gender equality,” LifeLine National Counselling Line Manager Nomsa Papale said.
The march is a government initiative with social partners, which calls on all men to join in and boldly declare that violence against women and children will not be tolerated in their respective environment or communities.
The #100MenMarch forms part of the centenary celebrations of former President Nelson Mandela and struggle stalwart Mama Albertina Sisulu, who both committed their lives to the fight for human rights, particularly women and children.
The march celebrates their lives but also seeks to raise awareness on the scourge of violence against women and children.
Speaking to SAnews, Papale said it is particularly important for men to lead the charge against gender-based violence.
“It is mainly men who are the perpetrators of abuse and violence against women and children, hence they have a responsibility to get to the root of the problem and be at the forefront to fight gender based violence and bring change.
“It is vital that men acknowledge their responsibility in this and change their behaviours and attitudes,” said Papale.
With three centres in Norwood, Alexandra and Soweto and a toll-free helpline service, LifeLine knows all too well the challenges faced by women at the hands of their abusers.
The NPO is manned by professional counsellors and registered social workers, who offer anonymous and confidential counselling services nationwide to all victims, survivors and perpetrators of gender-based violence and abuse.
LifeLine has a national crisis line on 0861 322 322, which offers a platform for various community members to access professional counselling and psychosocial services on any crisis and trauma matters such as suicide, depression and anxiety.
The NPO also has a helpline specifically for victims of gender-based violence on the Stop Gender Violence HelpLine — 0800 150 150.
For victims, survivors and perpetrators with generic issues related to crisis and trauma, a WhatsApp line on 084 922 8808 is also available.
Papale said initiatives such as the #100MenMarch are important to encourage men individually and collectively to continue condemning the abuse of women and children and display a united voice.
In addition to sparking a national conversation on gender-based violence, Papale said different sectors of society must work together to take the conversation forward and improve the knowledge base for ending violence.
Lend a hand and pledge your support
Members of the public can pledge their support by signing on https://www.gopetition.com/petitions/100-men-march.html. The march will start at Church Square at 10am and end on the southern lawns of the Union Buildings.
Details on road closures will be provided by the City of Tshwane and will be placed on government platforms www.gov.za, @SAgovnews and @GovermentZA.
Members of the public will be able to join in the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #ThumaMina #100MenMarch. – SAnews.gov.za