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TILL DEATH DO US PART: Domestic violence in SA

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Emy Will

Emy Will

Greetings from Johannesburg, South Africa. Although I have a doctorate in psychotherapy, my main passion is advocating for nonhuman animal rights. I condemn all cruelty to nonhuman animals and therefore follow a vegan lifestyle. I would like to connect with other animal activists from all over the world. The fur trade is one of the most abhorrent practices on this planet. Innocent animals are subjected to prolonged suffering for a trivial fashion item. As the chairperson of Fur Free SA. we campaign towards ending the global fur industry. This might not happen in my lifetime, but even if I leave one footprint behind, that is one step closer to the goal. This blog is a forum to discuss all aspects of the fur industry. It also raises issues around animal activism in general. Johannesburg is a crazy city and I need to escape from time to time. This photo was taken next to the magnificent Zambezi river.

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It is reported that of the “16,000 murders which happen in South Africa (SA) each year, many relate to domestic violence” (Carol Freeman – February, 2013) .
International Women’s Day was marked this month and Michelle Faul (March, 2014) points out that many South Africans are “soul-searching over the high level of murders and rapes perpetrated against women in SA”.
Currently the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius is well on its way in South Africa. For those of you who don’t know, Pistorius is accused of murdering his girlfriend on Valentines Day in 2013.
Oscar Pistorius Is Tried For The Murder Of His Girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp  Oscar Pistorius
Oscar Pistorius, a South African, was the first double amputee to ever run in the Olympic Games and South Africans refer to him as the “Blade Runner”. He was inspirational to many people with disabilities. For this reason he was used in the Nike sportswear billboard advertisement, as seen below. I’m sure you have noted the unfortunate slogan and of course this advertisement is no longer displayed.
Nike Oscar Pistorius Ad: "I Am The Bullet In The Chamber"
Although Pistorius’s trial has made the media, femicide is an everyday occurrence in South Africa.
Even PeTA’s anti-fur poster girl, actress Charlize Theron (South African by birth), has experienced domestic violence in her family.
In 1991 at their home near Johannesburg, South Africa, the Oscar winner’s mother, Gerda Maritz, killed Charlize’s abusive father in self-defense. Charlize was 15 years old at the time. Her mother was later acquitted because the killing was in self-defense. 
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2212682/Charlize-Therons-childhood-home-scene-brutal-murder-21-years-mother-killed-abusive-father-self-defence.html#ixzz2tF13Yzfx
It is sad, but in a country consumed with social problems, animal rights issues have taken a back seat. There are just not enough of us trying to be the voice for the voiceless.
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5 Comments

  1. Well said Emy. As an aside, the Oscar Pistorius case is a peculiar one, from the little I’ve seen. While he appears sincerely remorse, I’m bewildered (as a licensed gun toting citizen myself) how one can be so frightened for their own life as to not make positive ID before taking aim and pulling the trigger. And he shot through a door, did he not? Yes, I find this very peculiar indeed, suspiciously so.

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    • Emy Will says:

      Hello Peter :-D. Indeed. Oscar shot 4 bullets through a closed door. Having taken a compentency test Oscar fully knows that he should have identified the person before shooting. If this was a soapie, Oscar would win an Oscar for his performance. Unfortunately the forensic guys have bungled the evidence. No matter how the case ends, Oscar’s future is ruined and Reeva’s family are of course devastated 😦

      PS. Why do you own a gun?

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      • I’ve owned a handgun since legally permitted. Believe it or not, I bought it at Walmart. Yeah, those days are gone. I bought it for the purpose of self-defense, insurance. I have never hunted a day in my life, nor have I killed or shot anything living, I’m proud to say. And, as lame as it might sound, I own it because it is my Constitutional right, for now, to do so. I have a license to carry it, although I seldom do. And every couple of years I’ll go out with a family or friend to the range and blast away at paper targets and plastic bottles. It’s quite fun, I suspect you’d enjoy it.

        There has been the rare occasion that I’ve woke up in middle of the night at what sounded like an intruder, or the house alarm blaring (because a daughter fat-fingered the keypad). I’ve taken my gun and secured the house, knowing damn full well that what I thought I heard may damn well be child or grandchild coming in unexpectedly. Because of this, I will risk taking a bullet myself before I so much as take aim on a target I’ve not positively identified as a threat.

        Don’t think I haven’t run various scenarios through my head. Like, what if it was some unarmed punk teenager breaking in for the thrill–as foolish teenagers are sometimes known to do ;-). Or would I intentionally shoot to kill. Whether I shoot to kill depends on the threat, but remember I’ve already identified my target. If I’ve the option to take a non-lethal shot I will, but that may be a split second decision. Would I shoot some unarmed punk teenager? No. But I’d sure as hell make him piss himself. Looking down the barrel of .45 in the hands of a crazy-eyed man is one helluva a deterrent for future mischief.

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  2. Emy Will says:

    Peter, you are clearly a responsible gun owner. It is scary, though, that guns are so easily available – as portrayed through documentaries by Michael Moore. In SA all guns have to be licensed, although there are many illegal guns in the hands of criminals. I have never even held a gun but perhaps I would enjoy target shooting. At the moment I have to rely on gardening to release tension. I pity all those weeds that have to face a “crazy- eyed” anti-fur activists!
    So you are a grandfather 🙂 I’ m sure you are instilling good values there. Lets hope the next generation does a better job of looking after the planet.
    Warm wishes.

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