Monique van Vuuren, Mitchell’s Plain
A few years ago, the Plainsma, (Atlantic Sun’s sister publication) provided me with a platform when my book, Secrets: Dark Suffocating Shadows. A Memoir for Liberation was published.
Initially the book served as an open diary which provided readers with a tangible space to become the writer of their own life story.
I had printed the books out of my own pocket, from savings I had accumulated through the University of the Western Cape’s work-study programme.
I donated the bulk of the books to high schools in Mitchell’s Plain.
That was the beginning of ground level or the beginning of grassroots social activist work for me. Later on I became active in work for Rape Crisis.
The rallying motto, “the personal is political” gave way to a ton of disclosures (of womxn) directed at me.
(Womxn is a progressive term that promotes gender inclusivity and intersectionality by shedding light on prejudice and institutional barriers.)
Now, I challenge myself and others to tackle the root causes of pain, in the reflections that look back at us in mirrors; pain that we recognise in the eyes of our sisters, mothers, fathers, friends, brothers and lovers.
Pain that courses through the veins of
our communities, pain that continually separates, breeds and bleeds forming a cesspool of hate and
an illusionary fate among people of colour that we must accept that the laws don’t work for us. I remain inspired by France and the laws which make catcalling illegal.
While walking beside women in the #Enough is Enough march, I noticed how men
were gawking at
womxn and catcalling on the streets unperturbed by the fact that we were in fact #EnoughIsEnough comrades.
If we do not have respect in the streets, we won’t have respect in our cmmunities and in our country.
Based on the public debate about the three life sentences for Uyinene Mrwetyana’s killer, I would like to call to the public to sign an existing online petition to make the sex offenders list public.
The call connects with a personal plight for anti violence toward womxn and children. I found myself in the position of having to warn others after my ex fiancé had raped a child who happened to be my neighbour’s little sister.
This lived experience has resulted in me experiencing many sleepless nights and questions swirling about in my mind.
Why are men who are registered in the National Register for Sex Offenders, allowed community service and house arrest without any compulsory involvement in anti-sexist and anti-gender based violence promotional projects as well as gender sensitisation and toxic masculinity reformation?
I am appealing to the public to sign the petition: https://awethu.amandla.mobi/petitions/make-the-sex-offenders-public?share=96b97139-d70a-4fa4-9f39-ab693a8c4b2d
The frightening reality is that sex offenders can be removed from the sex offenders registry without proper reform after five to 10 years.
I sincerely hope that what I have shared with you can be used to convey the message that compassion is the disruptor of oppression.