About Abuse

Be glad today. Tomorrow may bring tears. Be brave today. The darkest night will pass. And golden rays will usher in the dawn. Who conquers man shall rule the coming years.

Sarah Knowles Bolton

About Abuse

The word abuse is something that is written, spoken and too often heard in South Africa. The fight against abuse may seem like a war that won’t be won, and the casualties seem to be piling up with no end in sight. This feeling of futility is understandable and the statistics in South Africa are horrific. It is predominantly women and children who are the victims of abuse – however there are cases where men are abused as well. Abuse and all its facets need to be understood. Behaviour change is needed to bring an end to the destructive behaviour that has now become a plague on our society. The cycle of destructive behaviour needs to be broken and healthy relationships forged within families and homes. This will make for a society that is safe and secure for all in society.

Factors that influence abuse

There are many factors that together influence the prevalence of abusive behaviour by individuals, in families and in our society. In the South African environment, violence have become a part of our historical past and is still embedded behaviour within our communities. This is a complex, multi-faceted problem that is influenced by personal, behavioural, social, cultural, political, economic and environmental factors. Factors could include: personality, lack of self esteem, lack of positive male role models, lack of discipline, absent parents, family disintegration and single parent families, child headed families, alcohol and drug abuse, lack of constructive conflict resolution, religious and cultural beliefs, patriarchal society, history of political oppression and violence and unemployment.

No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.

Alice Walker