Why is violence against women acceptable?

30 October 2017 - 13:28 By Bruce Gorton
Image: 123rf/ Keisuke Kai

Two white men try to run a black woman off the road. She gets out of her car to get pictures of the damage – they slap the camera out of her hand and punch her.

The incident is seen as being racist‚ which chances are it was‚ but here is my question – when did it become okay for a man to punch a woman?

South Africa has one of the highest rates of rape in the world‚ and violence against women is at crisis levels.

The body of a six-year-old Bloemfontein girl was found in a dump; a four-year-old girl was murdered and left in a drain in Eldorado Park; in August a woman in a toxic relationship was beaten to death‚ and her body left near the Vygieskraal stadium in Athlone.

A movie about a Paralympian killing his girlfriend sparks outrage.

The killers range from sports stars to shack dwellers‚ and they are from every race – in a country so easily divided‚ this disease is the unifying factor.

When did it become okay for a man to punch a woman?

When these stories happen‚ we keep saying: “Now is the time to do something” – and we march‚ we condemn the violence‚ we beat our chests‚ we call people out.

And then a few weeks later‚ another woman‚ another girl‚ another life taken – and again it is the time to do everything that didn’t work the last time we faced such an outrage.

I don’t pretend to have any answers on this‚ but it is time we admitted that there is something deeply wrong here – and it is not an aberration; it is not something wrong with “them”.

It is something wrong with us‚ and we need to figure out what it is – because right now‚ this isn’t the sort of society that I think most of us find acceptable.


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