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SUNDAY 21 MAY 2017 I For immediate release
The Salvation Army has called on government to allocate massive resources to stopping the scourge of violent attacks on women. This included giving substantial financial assistance to shelters for abused women, many of which are run on shoe-string budgets by non-profit organisations.
Speaking in response to a spate of violent attacks on women in recent weeks, the church said that violence against women is “completely unacceptable” and an affront to the belief that all people are created in the image of God.
PR Secretary of The Salvation Army’s Southern Africa region, Major Carin Holmes, said: “Apart from the tragic deaths of the young women that have been highlighted in the media, we are shocked that Statistics SA has found that one in five (21%) of partnered South African women experience physical violence. This is indicative of a brutality in society that has no respect for women and children.”
Major Holmes noted that Statistics SA reports from its recent 2016 Demographic and Health Survey, released earlier this week, that the highest percentage of women experiencing physical abuse (26%) fall into the lowest wealth bracket.
“In other words, the poorest women experience the highest levels of physical abuse. This means that they lack the financial resources to break free from their abusive relationships. If we combine this with the financial pressures on many of our women’s shelters – few though they are – we have a recipe for this disaster to continue and the situation to worsen even further,” she said.
The Salvation Army urgently appealed to men who abuse women to acknowledge that their actions are indicative of a serious problem, and to seek assistance in helping them deal with it.
“South African men need to take responsibility by recognising that something is fundamentally wrong with the models of manhood in our society. They need to engage in some deep soul searching about how they treat women. We need role models that respect and protect our women and who can be examples to their sons of how to do so.
“For as long as women suffer violence at the hands of men, all men must feel the discomfort that women experience in our communities and in their homes,” she added.
She also called on all faith communities to actively teach the men among them to care for, respect, and protect women.
The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by love for God, and its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs without discrimination.
The Southern Africa Territory of The Salvation Army encompasses four countries – South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland – and the island of St Helena. Its officers, soldiers and full-time employees provide their spiritual and community services through approximately 230 corps (churches), societies and outposts, as well as through schools, hospitals, institutions for children, street children, the elderly, men and abused women, and daycare, goodwill, rehabilitation and social centres.
ISSUED BY QUO VADIS COMMUNICATIONS ON BEHALF OF THE SALVATION ARMY
Media Contact: Ruth Coggin
Quo Vadis Communications
CLICK HERE to e-mail Ruth Coggin
Client Contact: Major Carin Holmes
Public Relations Secretary
CLICK HERE to e-mail Carin Holmes