Men encouraged to be open about abuse

Department of Social Development 21/08/2019 - 11:43



"My father abused me at the age of six years. I lost respect for him because of his behaviour"

These were the words of Lebohang Baloi (28) who was speaking during the Crime Prevention Awareness Program hosted at the Living Word Revival Ministry Church in Marikana Informal Settlement, in Soshanguve. The event was themed, "#Crime Prevention is our Responsibility".

"Following the abuse I lost it and joined the life of crime. It all began at primary school where we used to steal from each other and later in life graduated to serious crimes. At the age of 14 years, I owned my first car through proceeds of crime. Later in life I was sentenced to 15 years in prison for related crime such as car thefts, hi-jackings and robberies", Baloi said,

"Today I wear this uniform of shame and regret", said Lebohang who is currently serving time at Leeukop Prison. "But I have learnt a lot and today I have a degree in psychology which I have attained in prison. I hope to inspire other wannabe criminals to learn from me and lead a life a righteousness".

Thomas Khumalo from Akasia-Soshanguve Men's Forum said theirs is to encourage men to talk about issues affecting them daily. He said his organization was started in 2005 after being influenced by the life experiences of abused men.

He said, "We encourage men to talk about issues affecting them, express their feelings and cry when the need arises. The narrative that men don't cry, sometimes does not necessary apply but it encourages men to bottle-up and explode later", said founder Thomas Khumalo.

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