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Maholi A Patile Maeba raises GBV awareness in style

Ntsoaki Motaung

Gender based violence has been a long drawn-out discussion that has been exhausted in many angles with a bid to raise awareness, with the same intent, the production embarked on a fun walk last Saturday.

The film company joined other private entities, companies as well as Non-governmental Organizations in fighting the stubborn GBV featuring a production of a film centered on GBV.

Speaking at the event that was also meant to source funds for the production of the film, the Executive Producer of the Film Thabiso Mafisa indicated that women contribute towards the undesirable and abusive characters of men.

“With this fun walk, we have started our journey to fight GBV by educating the public. A lot of things contribute to turn a person into what they eventually become. We see one as abusive person today because of their background,” he said.

He indicated that all people should unite and fight against GBV as some recognise when others are being abused, while in such a situation one needs to stand up and help the victim by providing support and advising them about where they could get help,” he said.

One of the participants to the fun walks, ‘Makamohelo Matela stated that in her way she thinks Basotho in rural areas still lack information about GBV as some women still believe that a man has a right to assault a female person especially when they are married. They do not see anything wrong about it.

“We also have to change the mind set of our males. They have to know that their responsibility is to protect women and children not to become one of the things that women need to be protected against. Most of the reported cases of GBV are for people who live in the urban areas because they are bit informed but in our rural areas we still have a long way to go to educate people about GBV,” She said.

Matela stated that, there are men who experience GBV same as women but most of them do not talk about their issues…. “I plea to every person male or female to talk about what they go through the minute they feel that gives them some kind of stress or worries them. After talking to someone they will then feel free to go a step further and report cases of GBV,” she said.

Tšepiso Letseka who regards herself not a victim of GBV anymore but a survivor indicated that she was in an abusive marriage for three years.

Letseka was subjected to a physical violence where she was assaulted by her husband even when she was pregnant.

“My husband would beat me and I would leave our place for my parents’ place. Instead of been listened to, my parents would tell me that there must be something I have done that got my husband angry to where he would beat me. They would force me to go back to my marriage,” she said.

“I remember I ran to my parents for more than five times after I was assaulted by my husband and my parents could not listen to my side of story because my partner was good at convincing them that it was a mistake and he was changed and then I would be forced to go back to our place with him,” she explained.

“This continued until it psychologically affected my child. She acted strange even when she was at school. That is what pushed me to stand up and take control of the situation and I resorted to divorce without my parents knowing,” she said.

She indicated that victims of GBV that are still in abusive marriages or relationships need support more than anything… “People stay in abusive marriages and relationships because of fear, so we need to support them and every now and then remind them of what they can do or where they can go to get help,” she said.        

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