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Please wake up and #talk2yourboys

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“Today you are making international headlines for your cruel and inhumane treatment of your women and children.”

“South Africa, wake up and reclaim your dignity! Just 25 years ago, you were making international headlines for your brave and unshakable spirit of resilience.

“Today you are making international headlines for your cruel and inhumane treatment of your women and children.”

The powerful impact of these words, penned by Sophie Williams-De Bruyn, which appeared as comment in Independent Media titles last week, reflects the feeling of frustration shared by millions with the gender-based violence and child sexual assaults in the country.

The anti-apartheid activist is the last living leader of the 1956 Women’s March.

The global 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign starts today and ends on December 10, but there is unanimous agreement that the issues that need to be dealt with are a conversation that should take place every day.

Crime statistics reflect the stark reality that crimes against women and children are increasing, but this is not a battle that should ever see us raise the white flag.

Instead, all South Africans should look at how they can contribute positively to the discussion on why violence against women and children continues.

Independent Media’s #talk2-yourboys campaign aims to address “the vicious cycle of toxic masculinity at the source”, by calling on all of us to have conversations that help create a safer place for all South Africans.

Now is the time for South Africa to wake up and reclaim its dignity!