Today marks the start of an annual international campaign against violence. It?s called ?Sixteen Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.? But in South Africa this year, the title has been expanded to include child abuse.

Following the South African campaign is Voice of America reporter Delia Robertson. She told English to Africa?s Joe De Capua about the origins of the event.

?The program was set in place about five years ago and it was directly in response to the high levels of violence that you get in South Africa against women and children. I believe that those incidents are declining and becoming fewer, but even so, the rate of violence against women and children in South Africa is extremely high. And so there was a decision made to have sixteen days set aside each year when governments and civil society organizations will focus on the subject and try and draw attention to it and then encourage different behavior.?

The symbol for the event is a white ribbon, but in South Africa where there are many bead artists, people often wear a white beaded symbol on their lapel or clothing.