Despite the 16 Days of Activism campaign drawing to an imminent close, the City of Cape Town has reaffirmed its hopes of tackling the scourge of domestic violence. Since 2011, the City has been conducting several awareness initiatives, with the hope of combating the issue through developmental means. The initiatives have been rolled out to 111 wards across the region, and focus on the causes and effects of domestic violence.
The most notable of the initiatives is the Strengthening of Families programme, which aims to reinforce the idea of what a family should be. With issues such as drug abuse and gang violence rife within the community, Mayco member for social and early childhood development, Councillor Suzetter Little, said the City had noted that these issues often related back to the home. In many cases, they fueled domestic abuse.
“We have within Cape Town a problem with our families. The way it is structured, the way we treat our children, the way husband and wife interact, and the issue of respect towards one another. What we’ve done as a City is looked at how we can strengthen the family, so that children and parents are able to function within that unit,” she explained.
The City also runs an initiative focused on men’s care, and helping males become better father figures within their households and family structures. She said that the initiative would stress the importance of taking up that role within the family, as well as educating men about their role within society as a whole.
Both programmes have been in effect as of 2011, and have so far yielded positive results. Little said that many had taken to the respective programmes, further influencing and spreading the message to their friends and neighbors.
“It is a slow process unfortunately, but we as a city are taking it through to as many of our wards as possible. We have seen the (positive) effect of it,” she said.
In a bid to bring about development and root out the issue at an early age, the City has also put focus on promoting early childhood development. Much of this was aimed at keeping children in schools, and instilling a love of education within them.
“This is so the little ones growing up have a culture of learning, and they can enjoy learning and it does not become a burden,” she added. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)