Violence against women is a plague in South Africa

In a written response to questions about the problem, the president of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Sithembele Sipuka, and the archbishop of Cape Town, Stephen Brislin, agreed violence in South Africa has reached horrendous levels.

Bishop Sipuka, who heads the primarily rural diocese of Mthatha, prefers not to use the term gender-based violence, saying that it implies “a kind of tit-for-tat reality where men violate women and women do the same to men.” He said that while the latter may happen in a few isolated cases, the term gender-based violence “minimizes the seriousness of the scourge” of violence against women.

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