Whether we accept change or change unsettles us, we all need to find ways to adapt to a new way of life in 2020.

While the arrival of the current global pandemic might have come with some enforced changes that we have had to make in our lives, we must not forget the global pandemic of Gender Based Violence (GBV) that has been around for centuries and still has no cure. GBV has affected many of us whether directly or indirectly at some stage in our lives and unfortunately continues to do so.

Women, children and the LGBTQI communities are the most affected by this pandemic. There isn’t a day in our country that we do not wake up to the news of gender-based violence.

The unfortunate thing about GBV is that most victims suffer under the hands of perpetrators that they thought they could trust. The question now is: “What can you and I can do to curb and potentially eradicate this pandemic?”

We, fortunately, live in a world were spreading information and making it go viral is as simple as clicking a button or using a hashtag. Social media is a powerful tool to make the public aware of this pandemic however, it should never end there or even start there. Abuse cases should be reported and legal authorities / the government should be held accountable to make ensure that cases of gender-based violence do not only end up as unresolved hashtags in our social media timelines.

Educating ourselves on the topic of gender-based violence is of utmost importance. The phrase “ignorance is bliss” unfortunately does not apply in this instance. It is important to keep ourselves informed on ways we can help victims of gender-based violence deal with the trauma of being abused. It is also important that we learn ways to identify when a person is being abused so that we can help them get out of that situation.

Working together as one community will help put an end to the GBV pandemic – the vaccine to end the abuse will not come from a laboratory, nor will it come from a social media campaign – it will come from us changing and choosing to put a stop to the abuse inflected by those who do not see value in the lives of others.

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