College of Law

Statement against violence and abuse of women and children

Violence against women and children in South Africa has become an unprecedented problem, cutting across all cultures and every level of society. It is the responsibility of every person to act to stop the ongoing incidences of violence and abuse against women and children that are hurting some of the most vulnerable members of our communities. Violence and abuse against women and children takes many forms – physical, verbal, sexual, economic and psychological. All of these represent a grave violation of human dignity and other human rights entrenched in our Constitution.  Violence and abuse of women and children not only affects the victims but also impacts on other issues, such as child and parent relationships; pupil and teacher relationships; relationships between children amongst one another; gender relationships and employer and employee relationships. This also affects societal relationships in general.

The Sustainable Development Goals specifically recognised the impact on development of violence against women and girls. Goal 5 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development also calls for the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls, including trafficking, sexual, and other types of exploitation.

It is against this background that the Unisa College of Law (CLAW) is taking an active and firm stand against violence and abuse of women and children. Unisa CLAW is therefore embarking on an ongoing campaign to highlight and condemn these atrocities. This statement is the first step of the campaign by Unisa CLAW.

We call on every person reading this statement to unite in CLAW’s cause, so that we can together take actions to prevent, protect and support women and children against violence and abuse and initiate efforts to hold those responsible for the violence accountable. Support the campaign by wearing something white every Friday of the month. White is a symbol of peace and when worn in terms of this campaign, shows the commitment of the wearer align him or herself to never commit, tolerate or condone violence and abuse against women and children.