November 21, 2017
CSVR puts structural violence under the microscope
The Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) calls on South Africans to observe 16 days of activism in resistance to violence against women and children. The focus will be on how institutions perpetuate structural violence in women’s lives. Violence does not exist solely in inter-personal relations, but in the circumstances and environment that facilitate it, and the systems and structures which excuse it.
“Statistically, women are more likely to be assaulted by someone known to them, and domestic abuse can be, and is, also perpetrated by good-looking middle-class professionals and high-level politicians,” said CSVR Gender Specialist, Nonhlanhla Sibanda-Moyo.
Structural violence refers to the systematic ways in which social structures harm and disadvantage individuals. It is often subtle and invincible, and its general formula is power and inequality.
CSVR further calls on institutions including churches, the police and the judicial system, legal authorities and those exercising power in the state to take a stand against this form of violence.
Recent examples include deputy higher education minister, Mduduzi Manana, who was given a year- long sentence or a fine of R100,000 and 500 hours of community service following charges relating to attacking three women in August 2017; Minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe, who is yet to account for his sexting scandal with 29-year-old Union Buildings staffer, Siyasanga Mbambani; and Durban-based pastor, Timothy Omotoso, who is facing charges on human trafficking and molesting over 30 girls from his church.
CSVR will be driving a social media campaign that will highlight some of the ways in which women have been failed by various institutions.
“The campaign, #EndVAWNow #EverydayPerpetrators will be conducted across social media platforms and will seek to explore various ways in which institutions have systemically, structurally and socially enabled, condoned and perpetuated violence against women, children and non-binary people,” said Sibanda-Moyo.
The campaign will use women’s voices to demonstrate the oppressive practices of the various institutions and individuals within these institutions to guide and inform the discussions. This will also be accompanied by clear claims for specific changes that will expose oppressive practice and call for transformative action.
Issued by the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation
For more information and interviews, contact:
Tel: +27 11 888 0140
Cell: +27 79 713 5953