Intimacy and Relationship Coach, Tracy Ziman Jacobs ( Magazine, TV and Radio Personality) tackles the ongoing issue of gender violence in South Africa. She expresses that by encouraging parents to initiate conversation with their children from young ages will educate them on equal rights, respect and consciousness of women. Let’s stop the rot!
What is the rot? And how do we stop it?
Violence against women and children in South Africa is one of the biggest topics circulating social media. As a citizen of the country, I feel helpless a lot of the time. I feel that my voice isn’t loud enough and that this problem is just too big for me and the average citizen.
However, I was recently reminded of a Tibetan idea. It says: ‘if you change yourself, then change will occur around you.’ In other words, conscious human beings can only concern themselves with changing the way they think and act. This will therefore make a big impact on the people around us. Our principles have become very grey. Most importantly, our values and morals should be updated. It is important for us all to know what these values and morals are, and to instil them in our homes and in our children.
Where does the negative attitude come from?
I always say, ‘monkey see, monkey do’. Children are not born bad. They learn what they see and what they are exposed to from a very young age. In addition, this negative behaviour of domestic violence, hatred towards women, women abuse and degradation; are all apart and parcel of a world that many impoverished and uneducated children are exposed to in South Africa. As a result to poor living conditions, and a world of hopelessness, children grow up in an unstable environment. They vow and promise to never behave like their fathers. Yet, we know that this behaviour is so deeply engrained in the subconscious minds, together with so many other damaging experiences that these children have been exposed to, that these men grow up to behave in exactly the same manner as their fathers.
Consequently, it’s no wonder we have a society that continually perpetuates this violence against women and children. But-how empathic and understanding can we be? We need to stop the rot!
What can the average citizen of South Africa do?
- Speak to your sons and daughters about what is happening in the news and on social media.
- Have conversations about what it means to respect women.
- Decide what your family values are and involve the family in these discussions.
- Ask them what they define as abusive.
- Hear what the women have to say.
Above all, the more we, as parents, encourage conversations where children can be heard, the more eager they will be to initiate conversations with their peers. They will have knowledge of their opinions and they will be able to stand up for themselves with certainty and confidence.
Therefore, let’s empower and educate our future tomorrow, and consequently give them a voice and stop the rot!