Junior members from Make A Difference Cape Town. Picture: BIONI LUIS
Junior members from Make A Difference Cape Town. Picture: BIONI LUIS

Campaign aims to give GBV survivors a voice

By Keagan Mitchell Time of article published Oct 16, 2021

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Cape Town - A local youth development and upliftment movement is stepping up to the plate to try to stop gender-based violence (GBV).

Make A Difference Cape Town (M.A.D CPT) – creatives, models, influencers, survivors, photographers, videographers, dancers and volunteers willing to make a difference in their community – will launch their first campaign, Breaking The Silence, next month.

The campaign will include a family fun day where members from M.A.D CPT will be telling their GBV stories to create awareness about it. They also hope to raise funds for projects to help GBV victims.

Shaundre Lottering, who is in charge of the campaign and a gang-rape survivor, said they planned to open a survivors’ home.

Senior members from Make A Difference Cape Town, from left, Yolanda de Wee, Aqeelah Maasdorp, Kaylin Cedras, Bioni Luis, Shaundre Lottering, Timothea Fortuin and Judy Smith. Picture: AIDEN JACOBS

“We would like to open a survivors’ home and teach them skills on how to rebuild their lives and overcome trauma. We are hoping to take this campaign into schools and educate pupils about GBV. Our goal with this campaign is to give the voiceless the confidence to pick themselves up and keep going. Your circumstances should not stop you. We all got the power to unlock greatness. We are hoping that this campaign will help men speak up as well,” she said.

Lottering, who has been living drug-free for more than five years, was gang-raped 10 years ago and left for dead.

“I stayed silent and went deeper into drugs to get over my trauma but that did not help. I kept quiet because I did not trust anyone. The police refused to take my case because it was gang war and I was told I knew what I signed up for. However, I told my story when I went to rehab,” she said.

Bioni Luis, founder of M.A.D CPT, said: “This campaign is important because women, men and children are stuck in relationships, marriages and different situations that they cannot overcome. We want to encourage people living in these situations or worse, that there is hope and a way out.”

Bulelwa Adonis, spokesperson for Women For Change, believes M.A.D CPT has come up with a brilliant idea.

“As a survivor myself, I firmly believe in helping others find their voices again. An idea such as this is extremely necessary in a country like ours that has normalised victim-blaming and ultimately forced a culture of victims being silent about their experiences,” she said.

“We need more initiatives like these that will allow victims to be heard so they can heal and become survivors. Healing starts with speaking and I can confidently attest to that with my own story. Silence is the most brutal form of violence in any traumatic experience. Breaking the silence will encourage more to come forward so that predators will no longer feel like their behaviours are okay, because they are not.”

Weekend Argus

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