Despite their unique and invaluable role and contribution within the home, workplace and society in general, the abuse of women regardless of rank, level of education or economic status remains an everyday reality across the globe.
UN Women statistics estimate that as many as 35% of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives.
As a business for women, 1st for Women’s Seeking Solutions survey and research report on violence against women is aimed at providing all affected women with insight into and awareness around the prevalence of women abuse.
Of the 1 214 local respondents that participated in our survey, 71,5% regard abuse and violence against women in South Africa as extremely severe. And when it comes to the perceived causes of women abuse, 81% of respondents cited the structure of society in terms of patriarchy and cultural norms as the largest contributing factors. Following this was alcohol abuse and prejudice and sexism coming in at second (28%) and third (17%) respectively.
As a complex, multifaceted issue, there are no quick fixes when it comes to finding solutions to address the various perceived causes and after effects of women abuse but by speaking out and uniting against women abuse, we could spark the movement which unites, educates and empowers all women to take a stand against the sexual, physical and emotional abuse of our women.
In the majority of countries with available data, UN Women estimates that less than 40% of the women who experience violence seek help of any sort and of those that do mostly turn to family and friends, a trend which is reflected in the survey results harnessed locally.
However, with many abused women experiencing isolation from those closest to them, it becomes vitally important for them to be made aware of the fact that there are many formal institutions and mechanisms available to them to help and guide them through instances of abuse.
With this in mind, the For-Women platform set up by 1st for Women aims to consolidate women abuse fighting efforts in one place and find a solution where we can give abuse the boot, once and for all. Through showcasing public, private and non-profit organisations, women abuse prevention programmes and organisations, who are committed to fighting women abuse, it enables survivors to find the right help, quickly. In addition, it affords South Africans and corporate South Africa the opportunity to take a stand and easily connect with those organisations needing assistance whether it be monetary or volunteering time or additional resources.
The online platform is structured to holistically address this widespread societal issue through three pillars – prevention, preparation and provision. Here victims or their support base can find a list of online links to all the institutions offering counselling and guidance to abused women and children, as well as shelters and skills development facilities promoting empowerment and education.
Each listed entity on the platform has further been classified to indicate as to which of the three pillars (prevention, preparation and provision) their services and facilities provide. Furthermore, the platform contains a range of resources in the form of reports and articles that women can access to further guide them through their preventing and surviving abuse. A special helpline and the opportunity to register a cause, volunteer assistance or seek help and support from abuse are also contained on the platform.
No matter who you are or where you are from, you can escape and seek help against women abuse. Join us and give abuse the boot because there is no excuse for women abuse and it will take a collective effort from government, civil society and everyday South Africans.