by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – AVON Justine is putting a human face to the narrative of gender-based violence and creating safe spaces for conversations that break walls of silence around the scourge.
This follows the realisation that femicide and gender-based violence are often framed in cold statistics bereft of human element, yet survivors are real people from all walks of life.
Avon is hosting a Women’s Month high tea in Johannesburg, where Josina Machel will give a keynote address and share her story of being brutalised by her former partner.
She lost her right eye in an assault and her eye was replaced by a prosthetic since the attack.
Attendees at the high tea includes Avon’s long-standing partners in its campaign against gender-based violence.
These include women’s rights and advocacy group People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA), Lawyers against Abuse (LvA), a non-profit organisation that provides critical legal and psychosocial support for victims of gender-based violence in Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg.
There is also the TEARS Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides access to crisis intervention, advocacy, counselling, and prevention education services for those impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault and child sexual abuse.
Lerato Ndoro, Executive Director of People Culture and Organisation at Avon Justine, said the high tea represents a quest to support women by providing them with a safe platform to have conversations that break down the walls of silence.
“This event is inspired by a common narrative that is often laced with deep judgment when a woman starts manifesting their (her) inner emotional challenges, physically,” she said.
“A return to love seeks to revive this sense of self-care, self-love and self-acceptance, off the back of many social and personal challenges women have been confronted with,” she said.
According to the latest crime statistics released by the South African Police Services, from April to June 2022, at least 855 women and 243 children were killed in the country.
Over 11 000 assault with grievous bodily harm (GBH) cases were opened with the police, while 1 670 such cases involved children.
Since 2004, with the Avon Foundation for Women, the company has contributed more than US$80 million globally to support awareness, education and the development and implementation of prevention and direct service programmes.
– CAJ News