Preventing domestic abuse could save the economy billions

“Gender-based violence costs the South African economy between R29-billion and R42-billion each year.” This is according to Mara Glennie, a survivor of abuse who established Life Board, a projected aimed at educating young people about abuse.

A study on the economic impact of gender-based violence in South Africa by financial-services firm KPMG found that gender-based violence cost South Africa between R28.4-billion and R42.4-billion  in 2012/2013. This estimate includes direct costs, such as psychological care, disability as a result of abuse, and loss of tax revenue from lost productivity, as well as indirect costs such as pain and suffering, early mortality, and missed work from injuries and legal proceedings.

Speaking to Power FM, Glennie, who also founded Transform Education About Rape and Sexual Abuse (Tears) – a non-profit organisation aimed at transforming education about sexual violence – said South Africa needed to become “a country that takes responsibility for our lives and our youth”.

Glennie said violence and neglect during childhood increased the likelihood of a person becoming a victim of domestic abuse.

“I grew up in a house where my parents shouted at one another all the time, so if you grew up in a house where shouting and emotional violence is the norm, when you choose your partner you don’t know not to choose that,” Gennie explained.

“We have a breakdown in societal values and we have absentee parents and the children are not taught right roles. We expect the teachers to teach our children, however, it is the role of families to teach good and right.”

Listen to the full interview:

– Featured image: Actress Andrea Dondolo was part of the One Billion rising campaign to call for an end to violence against women and girls. By Lindsay Mgbor/Department for International Development via WikiMedia Commons.