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Fighting abuse

Mpho Ramoloto, Social Worker and Male Programme

Co-ordinator at Agisanang Domestic Abuse Prevention and Training (ADAPT), believes that men have a vital role to play in ending Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

ADAPT was established in 1994 and is one of the first organisations in South Africa to introduce working with men as one of the effective strategies for confronting violence against women. ADAPT is based at the Alexandra Community Centre in Johannesburg.

It is a non-profi t organisation, funded by the Gauteng Department of Social Development.

As a social worker, Ramoloto provides counselling to perpetrators of domestic violence and GBV.

In general terms, GBV is violence directed against a person because of their gender.

The majority of victims are women and girls and this is largely as a result of unequal power relationships between men and women in society.

Before joining ADAPT two years ago, Ramoloto provided counselling to young boys who were in confl ict with the law. “I have come to realise that I have a passion for healing men and boys.

There has been a shift in society in our efforts to address gender inequalities of the past.

This process has somehow affected many men and boys, leaving them with discomfort and in shock,” he said.

What leads to GBV? Ramoloto said gender stereotypes allow GBV to fl ourish. “Men and women are both products of society.

Behaviour is sometimes a result of observational and social learning because human beings model certain behaviours,” he said.

“Most men expect women to do certain chores or treat them in a certain way because they were conditioned to do so.

If a woman does not do as they expect, they quickly resort to abuse or violence,” he added.

Ramoloto said societal expectations lead to gender roles and gender roles lead to expectations of behaviour and conduct.

When someone does not operate within the prescribed path, things quickly escalate to violence.

 “This is also why we fi nd cases of ‘corrective rape’ and abuse levelled against people who do not conform to societal expectations, such as gay men and lesbian women,” he said.

 How to stop GBV Feeling tempted to carry out any act of abuse is the first sign that you have a problem

and you need to have a coping mechanism in place to ensure that you don’t resort to violence or abuse

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