Article excerpt

TODAY MARKS the start of another campaign to eliminate the violence against women and children which is so pervasive in our society.

The Commission for Gender Equality says that one in every two South African women is likely to be raped at least once during her lifetime. Millions of others are assaulted and murdered.

And often it is from those closest to them that women and children are most at risk.

Statistics on domestic violence are still sparse in South Africa, but one very widely quoted Medical Research Council study found that four women are killed every day by their partners - one every six hours.

The violence crosses all the lines of income, race and geography.

The roots of this lie deep in South Africa's difficult and bloody history. Making the country safe for women and children - and for men - may take many generations.

But that does not mean that the "16 days" campaign to be launched today is not useful. It is. …