Social workers have been extremely busy with abuse cases during lockdown. Picture: Pexels
Social workers have been extremely busy with abuse cases during lockdown. Picture: Pexels

Gender-based violence cases rose by 500% since start of lockdown - Lifeline

By Boitumelo Metsing Time of article published May 20, 2020

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Johannesburg - The number of gender-based violence (GBV) cases has risen by 500% since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Lifeline SA chief executive Molefi Takalo said on Tuesday that the number of GBV distress calls had shot up from 12000 to almost 80000 since the first week of the shutdown.

“The number of interactions we’re receiving through the line are astronomical during this time of restricted movement.”

The Carling Black Label #NoExcuse initiative recently started a WhatsApp line as a platform for victims and perpetrators of GBV.

Takalo said the phone-in service made it more convenient for victims and survivors to quickly get help.

“The daily interaction rate has increased tremendously and the volume of calls is 10 times higher,” he said.

The campaign is not only a reporting platform for victims, but is also aimed at men who are struggling to deal with their frustrations during the lockdown.

Dr Musawenkosi Mthombeni, the campaign’s ambassador, said abuse was a silent killer.

“It’s important that those who are looking for help in situations of abuse, whether the victim or the aggressor, are able to get help through platforms such as this #NoExcuse WhatsApp line.”

He added that men needed to have an honest discussion among themselves and stand up and do something about GBV.

“We need to offer all the versions of support that we can so that we start to turn the tide,” said Mthombeni.

Carling Black Label brand director Arné Rust said the WhatsApp line was a great vehicle for those affected to access help.

“Our stance is that it takes true bravery to fight GBV.

“It takes bravery to report it, to talk about it, and most importantly it takes a huge amount of bravery to reach out and get help.

“Our role as #NoExcuse is to make this difficult process easier for those in need,” Rust said.

The Star

* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak, visit IOL's special #Coronavirus page.

** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999 or visit 

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