During the first three weeks of lockdown last year, gender-based violence (GBV) victims were trapped with their abusers, with no place to hide. During that time the government’s GBV and femicide command centre alone recorded more than 120 000 victims. Later that year police minister Bheki Cele announced that South Africa was still the rape capital of the world, with about 132 incidents per 100 000 people.
The North-West University (NWU) understands that it does not exist in a vacuum, and that the challenges that are faced by South Africans across the country could also impact their staff and students.
This year the NWU is working towards raising awareness about gender-based violence and issues relating to it. It will host six events from April to October 2021.
The events are aimed at INforming students, staff and alumni about the types of abuse and language that make or break gender stereotypes, getting INsight about the rights of victims, INspiring change through art, INitiating a self-defence class, being left IN Awe as staff, students and alumni take a stand against GBV, and INfluencing staff, students and alumni to speak up about their GBV experience.
After each event, attendees will receive a digital recognition-of-attendance badge. Staff and students who collect all the badges will receive a gift from the NWU at the end of the campaign.
“We want this campaign to encourage the NWU family to stand up, take charge and make a difference,” says Christie Cloete, the senior stakeholder relations officer at the NWU.
In times like these, when the scourge of violence against women and children is at an extreme high, the NWU is playing its part in contributing to a well-informed citizenry who will work together in the fight against GBV.
Watch the NWU’s gender-based violence awareness campaign video here.