“As the world retreated inside homes due to the lockdown measures introduced to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, reports showed an alarming increase in the already existing pandemic of violence against women.

Accompanying the crisis has been a spike in domestic violence reporting, at exactly the time that services, including rule of law, health and shelters are being diverted to address the pandemic.”

Gender-based violence is a profound and widespread problem in South Africa - impacting on almost every aspect of life. The Crimes Against Women in South Africa Report by Statistics SA shows that femicide is five times higher than the global average, more now since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged.

Gender-based violence is a major issue. More than half of South African women have experienced violence in a relationship.

The UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence against Women campaign is marking the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence (25 November to 10 December 2020) under the global theme, “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!". UN Women’s Generation Equality campaign is amplifying the call for global action to bridge funding gaps, ensure essential services for survivors of violence during the COVID-19 crisis, focus on prevention, and collection of data that can improve life-saving services for women and girls.

United Way South Africa supports this action as well as Social Justice. We were recently delighted to include support to organisations that are committed to fighting for the rights of our women and children in South Africa by donating masks.

We have a request from a Police Captain in an impoverished area to assist them to replace their damaged Wendy House which is being used as a safe and welcoming space in which victims of abuse are interviewed and counselled.

The appeal is then to create more of these safe and welcoming spaces in these needy areas where this increase in abuse is of highest.

We are calling on more potential donors/partners to come forward and join us by donating Wendy houses.

Together, we Win! #LiveUnited #ActiveAgainstGBV