The State Of Violence Against Women

Author: Nonhlanhla Sibanda-Moyo

What does a perpetrator of violence against women look like?

For many, the question evokes images of creepy strangers lurking in dark alleys or unkempt, drunken husbands stumbling home from the local tavern.

These stereotypes have long been challenged tirelessly by feminists and women’s rights organisations, especially during Women’s Month or the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children, this year’s campaign for the latter having started yesterday.

Statistically, women are more likely to be assaulted by someone they know. Domestic violence is also perpetrated by good-looking middle class professionals and high-level politicians. Debunking these myths is therefore a crucial tool in the fight to end violence against women.

However, in all these vital and urgent conversations about the true face of the perpetrators, there is one perpetrator that remains largely invisible – the state and social institutions.

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