Hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets in Pretoria, South Africa to march against the rising levels of violence against women and children.
One of the organisers, Kholofelo Masha, who led the march made up of mostly men, said that men had to take “collective responsibility for the increase in beatings, sex attacks and killings.
Last year, police figures revealed that there were over 64,000 reported cases of abuse in the country, one of the highest rates in the world.
Recently, a series of murders of women and children have made the headlines, prompting President Jacob Zuma to declare the situation a “crisis”.
According to official figures, in South Africa a woman is killed by someone she knows every eight hours, and one woman in five has been subjected to at least one act of violent aggression in her life.
The protest march was fronted by a woman dressed from head to toe in white. Some carried placards with the names of women who had previously been victim of domestic abuse, or were killed by their partners.
“The time to take collective responsibility for our shameful action is now,” Mr Masha told theBBC. Masha described himself as “a loving dad, brother and uncle.”He added that South African men had been quiet on the issue for too long.
“You hear a lady screaming next door, you decide to sleep when you know there is a problem. No man should beat a woman or rape a woman while you’re watching”.
President Zuma recently visited the home of the parents of a three-year-old girl was raped and killed. “We as the citizens of this country must say enough is enough,” Zuma said on Thursday. “This is one of the saddest incidents I’ve come across. It’s a crisis in the country, the manner in which women and children are being killed.”