One out of every four women in South Africa find themselves in an abusive relationship, and we as a nation need to end this. That was the message at the 1000 Women Trust Initiative flagship event on Thursday 10 May in front of a capacity crowd at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
All tickets were sold out.
South African photographer Karin Schermbrucker who spent many years abroad documenting the lives of war refugees and especially women, delivered the keynote-address. Schermbrucker encouraged women to press on courageously in South Africa. “I will not be intimidated, discouraged or dissuaded from standing up for the rights of those who suffer injustice. I will not fear, in fact, we have an even greater resolve to speak up for those who cannot do so,” she said.
“My standing up here today is testimony to many of the courageous woman in my life who have helped me find my voice and have always called me to more – women who have fought for justice and believed that we can and should help change the lives of women all over the world,” Schermbrucker added.
She quoted the famous photographer Annie Griffiths of the National Geographic, who said: “When faced with the sheer magnitude of global need, most of us feel completely overwhelmed. How can we possibly make a difference? But when each of us can search inside ourselves for a little acorn of time or passion or ability, and find creative ways to offer that gift, then a forest begins to grow.”
A candle was lit to commemorate the lives of women who lost their lives through gender violence.
During a three-minute video clip that was showed at the lunch, the challenges we face in South Africa were highlighted as a major problem. One that is the cause of women losing their lives in our country right now.
Guests were invited to bring toiletries, soft toys and tin food for a number of shelters. This year, these shelters are the beneficiaries and the 1000 Women Trust is working with a number of new ones.
During the event several helpline numbers were also shared and include the following:
- Tears helpline: *134*7355#
- GBV national hotline: Dial *120*7867# (free) from any cell phone and a social worker will call back. They are available Monday to Sunday, 24 hours a day.