Durban — The Umhlanga Women’s Association’s community will launch a new campaign to tackle Gender-Based Violence called #GBVACE at the Gateway Theatre of Shopping on Saturday.
The campaign is divided into two instalments – the Pledge and the Hand – which both aim to raise awareness and support mental health.
South Africa has notoriously high levels of violence against women, with rape being the highest incident in the world.
Umhlanga Women’s Association chairperson, Praneetha Aniruth, said the first instalment of The Pledge would encourage passers-by to dip their thumbs in red paint and add their print to the installation and the second piece calls on visitors to pledge their support for the ACE campaign by signing the canvas and becoming a part of this historical movement.
“This is a forever campaign whereby we are aiming to create awareness and educate the public about GBV and the connection with mental health in an effort to combat GBV in our societies.
“We are creating an ecosystem of partners, legal, trauma counsellors, NPOs to collectively eradicate GBV, because we cannot work in isolation,” said Aniruth.
She said another unique element of their approach was the partnership with Mzansi Securifire, whose team has created a mobile app which aims to combat GBV.
“For the pilot programme, residents from Umgeni River to uMdloti can download the app. If there is a threat of GBV, they can press the panic button, and Mzansi Security will respond, at no cost,” said Aniruth.
She said the educational outcomes of the #GBVACE campaign would be achieved by empowering the youth to recognise, address and prevent GBV through talks at schools, religious centres and community groups, as well as ongoing social media campaigns.
Marketing manager of Gateway Theatre of Shopping, Michelle Shelley said Gateway was proud to play a part in supporting a community upliftment campaign driven by the Umhlanga Women’s Association.
“GBV remains a major threat to our communities, and we can only tackle it through collaborative efforts such as these. We encourage shoppers and visitors to head to the installations and make their mark and show support for this important campaign,” said Shelley.
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