Help is just a phone call away to fight gender-based violence that has spiked from less than 1500 to more than 5000 cases per week during the national lockdown period. File Picture
Help is just a phone call away to fight gender-based violence that has spiked from less than 1500 to more than 5000 cases per week during the national lockdown period. File Picture

New WhatsApp service for victims of gender based violence during lockdown

By Staff Reporter Time of article published May 4, 2020

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Help is just a phone call away to fight gender-based violence that has spiked from less than 1 500 to more than 5 000 cases per week during the national lockdown period.

This spike has raised the ire of the government and civic organisations, and prompted a response from various organisations, including Carling Black Label's #NoExcuse initiative. A new WhatsApp number has been made available for victims to promptly report the abuses.

“Our new approach is a WhatsApp service where people can send the word BRAVE to 0800150150 and get in touch with the right organisation to get the help they need.

"We will also be partnering with other corporate entities, government departments as well as affiliates such as Takuwani Riime and the Men's Sector to grow awareness of the service and remove barriers to getting assistance. Whilst #NoExcuse has always encouraged victims to be brave and report immediately, there are other socio-economic problems that need to be considered,” Carling Black Label brand director Arné Rust said.

He said given the various circumstances people found themselves in during the lockdown, it was difficult for victims of abuse to call for help, and also stopped men who were ashamed of showing weakness from reaching out.

“So, the text-based service will enable them to silently send a text for help, without being detected,” Rust said.

The campaign has two phases – the first phase being to raise awareness about the LifeLine number, as people should know there is help available to them. The second phase is to provide them with insight on the WhatsApp functionality and that help is a text away.

#NoExcuse has a holistic approach to ending abuse through various programmes aimed at men who are seeking mentorship and assistance in becoming better men and to provide the victims of abuse with help.

“This WhatsApp line gives victims of abuse a way to get counselling silently. It also puts men who are struggling to be their inner champion in touch with a mentor, someone to talk to, so that they can start on the journey to be champion men,” said Rust.

The #NoExcuse The Bravest Thing programme will be rolled out on social media, with the assistance of influential figures in TV, presenter and medical doctor, Dr Musa Mthombeni; sports presenters Thomas Mlambo and Andile Ncube; radio DJ, Moeti Tseki and former footballer, Phumudzo Manenzhe.

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