POWA, in partnership with Unilever’s tea brand JOKO, is asking South Africans to add their voices to #EndDomesticSilence, by recording voice notes to the President during the annual 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children urging the government to prioritise three new Bills specifically designed to tackle the country’s deplorable status quo: seven women are killed every day, and a reported 40% to 50% of men have admitted to perpetrating physical partner violence.

POWA CEO, Mary Makgaba, has called for these key bills, introduced to Parliament in September 2020, to be urgently fast-tracked:

• The Bill to amend the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act. This creates a new offence of sexual intimidation, extends the ambit of the offence of incest, and extends the duty of reporting suspected sexual abuse of a child. It also expands the scope of the National Register for Sex Offenders, including public naming of perpetrators.
• The Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Bill tightens the granting of bail in cases of GBV and femicide; and expands offences for which minimum sentences must be imposed.
• Proposed amendments to the Domestic Violence Act extend the provisions to those who are engaged, dating, in customary relationships and actual or perceived romantic, intimate, or sexual relationships of any length of time. The definition of “domestic violence” is also extended to protect the elderly from abuse by family members.

Victims of domestic violence don’t have time to wait. Add your voice to thousands of other South Africans at Support JOKO Tea SA and POWA to get 3 bills that protect women and children passed into law sooner and help #EndDomesticViolence #16DaysofActivism.