Businesswoman and GBV survivor, Lynette Ntuli and other iconic South African women collaborate with POWA to #ENDDOMESTICSILENCE

Women’s rights NGO, People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA) and Joko joined forces with three iconic South African women as part of their #EndDomesticSilence campaign.

Legendary South African actress Brümilda van Rensburg, 2016 Miss South Africa Ntandoyenkosi Kunene and activist and businesswoman, Lynette Ntuli placed a spotlight on gender-based violence (GBV) during this years 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children.

POWA, Acting Executive Director, Jeanette Sera says women are stronger together: “When one woman talks about her experiences around gender-based violence, she not only begins to free herself but empowers other women to do the same. POWA believes this partnership will help bring more awareness to the issue of GBV as part of the #DonateYourVoice campaign.

GBV (which disproportionately affects women and girls) is a profound and widespread problem in South Africa. Impacting on almost every aspect of life, this systemic crime is deeply entrenched in institutions, cultures, and traditions in South Africa.

Ntuli, is the Founding Director and CEO of Innate Investment Solutions. She has held senior leadership roles in the commercial, development and investment spheres of the property management and trade and investment sectors, and sits on the boards and working groups of various real estate organisations. She is also a well recognised speaker and moderator. 

An astute businesswoman, Ntuli was attacked and stalked by a man she did not know for not responding to his advances and messages. She says: “Gender Based Violence has no bounds: no age, demeanor, class, access, education, public standing or colour will protect you from it. It’s not a matter of IF, it’s a matter of WHEN it will affect you directly. My perpetrator appears ‘normal’ on the outside: a managerial job at the national power utility, drives a German car, has a suburban home, an MBA, a runner and a large circle of likeminded friends. There are no social or economic characteristics that exclude any woman or man from being victim or a perpetrator.”

The numbers are shocking. One in five South African women is a victim of domestic violence and more than half of all women murdered were killed by an intimate male partner.

There are currently three bills that have been introduced in parliament, relating to gender-based violence.

  • The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act to include the offence of sexual intimidation and to broaden the offence of incest and the reporting duties of people who suspect a sexual offence has been committed against a child. It also expands

the scope of the National Register for Sex Offenders to include details of all sex offenders. It will also be made available to the public;

  • The Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Bill will also make it harder for perpetrators of gender-based violence and femicide to be granted bail;
  • Proposed amendments to the Domestic Violence Act extend the provisions to those who are engaged, dating, in customary relationships and actual or perceived romantic, intimate, or sexual relationships of any length of time. The definition of “domestic violence” is also extended to protect the elderly from abuse by family members.

President Cyril Ramaphosa signed and passed the Prescription in Civil and Criminal Matters (or Sexual Offences) Amendment Bill and announced this on 20th January 2021.

Adds former Miss South Africa Ntandoyenkosi Kunene: “Besides the devasting impact GBV has on the nuclear and extended family, it also has an impact on female-led businesses often where women are the main breadwinner as well. By joining POWA and JOKO during this campaign it allows me to reach more women to encourage them to make their voices heard when it comes to the violence against women in this country”.

The Neuro Linguistic Programming Coach who founded Black Heel Consulting – an entity dedicated to providing coaching solutions to professionals, entrepreneurs and organisations, says by being part of the #DonateYourVoice campaign she hopes to bring more awareness to the issue of GBV.

A big part of what makes it so easy for perpetrators of GBV to get away with is that women are too afraid to speak up and speak out. Says van Rensburg, an acting academy owner: “Over the years I have seen women who have faced GBV really feel a sense of shame and fear around not only reporting GBV but just being able to speak about it to a friend or family member, being part of the #DonateYourVoice campaign is important for me as it encourages women to step forward and get their voices heard.”

Behind every statistic is a real human story – with the power to overcome. These stories deserve to be heard, donate your voice at joko.co.za and help make a difference to #EndDomesticSilence. R1 from every Joko pack sold goes towards supporting the organisation and its initiatives.

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