Commitment to Collaborate to End Violence against Women and Children: Religious Leaders Pledge

We the Religious Leaders of the Western Cape are deeply disturbed by the escalating scourge of violence against women and children in our city and country. It is completely unacceptable that Cape Town is regarded as the Rape Capital of the world. As people of faith, we are strongly opposed to the fact that our women and children live in one of the most dangerous places on earth. We believe that God has created the earth for all to enjoy and live in peace and harmony.

We stand united against any form of violence or abuse of women and children.

To the Victims and Survivors of Domestic Violence, we say:

  • We realize that we have failed many of you when you reached out to us for help. We have often failed in our pastoral duty to respond to you with integrity and compassion
  • We have failed you every time we suggested that you must pray harder and be more submissive to your abusive husband
  • We have turned a blind eye when some leaders have violated you
  • We acknowledge that we have been silent when we had the power to speak out
  • We pledge our commitment to join the efforts of others to bring offenders to account

To the Domestic Violence Offender, we say:

  • Your abusive behaviour will not be tolerated in our communities
  • You have to take responsibility for your behaviour
  • You must get the professional help that is required to help you work through your abusive behaviour
  • God is calling you to account for every woman and child that you have ever hurt
  • We will work with other professionals to help you to find repentance and healing

To fellow Religious Leaders, we say:

  • We commit to holding each other accountable for any form of sexual misconduct against women and children

To the Domestic Violence Service Organizations, we want to say:

  • We realize that we have been silent and perceived to be complicit in violence against women and children
  • We see our responsibility and commit to equip ourselves to understand the complexities around domestic violence
  • We will seek to become Pastoral Caregivers that women and children can rely on
  • We commit to finding ways to make our Places of Worship sanctuaries of hope and healing
  • We commit to help hold perpetrators accountable and work towards restorative justice interventions
  • We will seek to develop Domestic Violence Intervention Policies and Pastoral Care Guidelines in our faith communities

To the Government, we say:

  • We thank you for acknowledging that violence against women is a national priority
  • We thank you for the Domestic Violence Act and other legislation aimed at securing the human rights of women and children
  • We urge that Domestic Violence be criminalized, if we are serious about the safety of our women and children
  • The Domestic Violence Act must be amended to make Protection Orders immediately available to victims. Police must be authorized to give the protection order at the scene when they are called out to an incident
  • The Police must be authorized to confiscate fire arms immediately in cases where there is domestic violence
  • We need more services for perpetrators of domestic violence
  • We need more services for children who have witnessed and experienced domestic violence

Pledge Form

Name and Surname:  
Religious Organization: