03 December 2020 | Story Leonie Bolleurs | Photo Supplied
Tsamayang Sethunsa says women needs to be taught that they must be firm when they say no.

“Gender-based violence is everyone’s responsibility and I believe it can be reduced if we all work together, says Tsamayang Sethunsa, Crime Investigating Officer at Protection Services.

Although he considers this a difficult battle to win, there are some actions that we can take to start fighting this evil in society. 

Enhance awareness campaigns

“We must continue to enhance our awareness campaigns throughout the year and not restrict it to the short period of time during the 16 Days of Activism against violence to women and children campaign. Awareness campaigns need to run on a regular basis and must become part of our daily lives.”

He adds that we need to be proactive. “In this regard, I am a firm supporter of ongoing research to enable advocacy groups, investigators, victims, and perpetrators to understand what we are dealing with and to come up with mitigation plans that will address the problem at its roots,” he says. 

“I also believe a focus on the victim is a good beginning, but we do not need to forget about the perpetrator, as that is where the problem is. We need to conduct specific research where perpetrators are interviewed and assessed as to understand what made the person commit the crime. You do not wake up in the morning and decide to hurt or kill someone you are supposed to love. There must be a trigger and we need to address it through ongoing engagement with men as the common perpetrator in these crimes.”

It is all right to cry and to let the pain out

“It is also important that men are taught to speak out about challenges they face on a daily basis. Tell them it is all right to cry and to let the pain out instead of keeping things in, resulting in violent outbursts,” he adds.

Tsamayang is also of the opinion that there is a need to revisit the rehabilitation methods of correctional service centres and to determine if these methods are working.

He says the issue of repeat offenders is also a growing concern for him as an investigator.

Furthermore, he is convinced that young children need to be taught about gender-based violence from an early age. “Women also need to be taught that they must be firm when they say no, and to report any criminal activity immediately when it happens. They must also learn to protect themselves,” he says. 

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