Dear Mr. President,
I know that as the leader of this country, you have much more on your plate than any of us could even comprehend. As I am writing to you as a heartbroken, scared and angry citizen of our beloved country; I ask that you please spare a minute or two to read my tortured thoughts.
The current laws in place in South Africa do not benefit victims of violence and abuse; they benefit the perpetrators. When we approach authorities and speak out about our fears towards our violators, we get told that nothing can be done until there is any “evidence”. However, even when there is evidence, it is still not enough. We are told to get restraining orders against our perpetrators, but it not sufficient to protect us. By the time we are dead because our abusers violated our restraining orders, what can the SAPS do? Nothing. They do not even take our cries seriously. I am sure I do not need to get into listing statistics, as you are probably well aware of where they stand.
I have a few questions that I am hoping you would gracefully answer pertaining to the brutal murders and raping of our women and children:
- What has the government done to improve the country’s current domestic violence/rape laws since the 2019 protests and marches?
- What will you do, Mr. President, to ensure that we, your daughters, feel safe again in this country?
- What is being done to keep men in this country accountable? Because they do not seem to be phased with the current laws.
- Why is a life sentence not the least form of punishment for rapists and murderers? Because we have seen countless times how they casually step back into society after being released after laughably short sentences, and simply continue their raping and killing sprees.
You are a man, Mr. President, and therefore, you will never get to experience the level of fear we as women endure daily. Not feeling safe in our own homes, not feeling safe walking down the street, being afraid of simply walking past a man by ourselves.
We do not need any more government organised funerals with nice speeches and broken promises – we need harsher sentences and a legal system that actually helps victims of violence and abuse. We are tired of the heartbreak; the sleepless nights; the protests; the tears; the worry and anxiety.
The innocence of our children is being stolen, not only by perpetrators, but by having to carry the burden of having to constantly be aware that they could die at any moment at the hands of a monster.
I write this letter to you with love, and hope that you will see the cry for help and finally do something.