After the video of Jaco Swart beating his estranged wife, Nicoleen Swart, went viral, the world reacted in absolute horror and disgust. The focus was once again placed on the vile crimes committed against woman and children daily (although men are also subjected to abuse). The vicious cycle of abuse normally stems from childhood and is carried on from generation to generation until someone intentionally decides to break the cycle. Some people witness it in their own families growing up, others learn it slowly from friends, popular culture, or structural inequities throughout our society. No matter where they develop such behaviours, those who commit abusive acts make a choice in doing so. Let’s raise children who won’t have to recover from their childhoods. If you were subjected to abuse in your childhood, do not subject yourself or your children to abuse, because it creates a vicious cycle that will not easily be broken. Change starts with YOU. Deal with trauma and post-traumatic stress by seeking help and going to therapy.
There are different types of abuse, and if you are currently in a marriage or relationship where these acts occur, you should seek help and leave the abusive partner as soon as possible. DO NOT STAY ‘for your children’, or ‘because you love him / her’ – because you are causing more harm than good. Being abused is NOT love! Learn to love yourself first, because only then will you be able to know what healthy love is.
Perhaps the most recognized form, physical abuse may include behaviours such as:
- Hitting, slapping, punching, kicking
- Damaging personal property
- Refusing medical care and/or controlling medication
- Coercing partner into substance abuse
- Use of weapons
Emotional abuse occurs when an intimate partner seeks to control his/her loved one by:
- Name calling, insulting
- Blaming the partner for everything
- Extreme jealousy
- Shaming, humiliating
- Controlling what the partner does and where the partner goes
Sexual abuse is not about sex. It is about power, and includes any sexual behaviour performed without a partner’s consent. Examples include:
- Forcing a partner to have sex with other people (human trafficking)
- Pursuing sexual activity when the victim is not fully conscious or is afraid to say no
- Hurting partner physically during sex
- Coercing partner to have sex without protection / sabotaging birth control
This form of abuse includes the use of technology to control and stalk a partner. Technological abuse can happen to people of all ages, but it is more common among teenagers who use technology and social media to interact in a manner often unmonitored by adults. Examples include:
- Hacking into a partner’s e-mail and personal accounts
- Using tracking devices in a partner’s cell phone to monitor their location, phone calls and messages
- Monitoring interactions via social media
- Demanding to know partner’s passwords
Any behaviour that maintains power and control over finances constitutes financial abuse. Examples include causing a partner to lose their job through direct and indirect means, such as:
- Inflicting physical harm or injury that would prevent the person from attending work
- Harassing partner at their workplace
- Controlling financial assets and effectively putting partner on an allowance
- Damaging a partner’s credit score
It is such a privilege for CPI SA to support Unchain Our Children
Unchain Our Children is a non-profit company, established in 2013, registered in 2016 and founded by Wayne van Onselen, previously a Detective Sergeant in the South African Police Service who coined the phrase, ‘Everyone is someone’s child’.
He leads Unchain Our Children’s team of professional volunteers in a fearless pursuit of justice, and with a relentless force to effectively liberate children chained to abuse in all its horrific forms.
Unchain Our Children exists to combat Gender-Based Violence, abuse against children and Human Trafficking. They serve the South African citizens and operate alongside national and international law enforcement teams, Department of Social Development, and other registered Child Care Organizations, and within the framework of the law, intervene at the source to enhance positive outcomes and counteract the devastating effects on victims of gender- and human rights violations.
With a huge need for places of safety in South Africa, they are actively collaborating with corporates to establish safe houses for children, and they also launched the “Family Ambassador” initiative where families from the community provides temporary safe havens for abused and abandoned children.
Their first springboard place of safety, The Purple Willow, located in Alberton is in progress, https://unchainourchildren.org.za/purplewillow/
The increase of GBV, Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking cases and the investigation thereof, depend on sufficient and ongoing operational funding to budget for travelling expenses, communication, and other essentials.
Donations and sponsorships from philanthropists and corporates will enable them to rescue and restore more children more often.
Please add your support to this worthy cause to diminish these vile crimes.
Contact Melani Lategan at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to help in any way.