Outdoor advertising raises the red flag on gender violence
South Africa is a society currently characterised by excessive levels of violence and abuse, being directed primarily at our women and children. With the 16 Days of Activism taking place between 25 November and 10 December, ADreach Group and Digital Dimensions, a Johannesburg-based digital print and signage organisation, have committed themselves to raising awareness of violence against women and children.
To this end, ADreach has partnered with LifeLine Johannesburg and set aside R500 000 worth of Street Pole Advertising space, via which a recurrent Gender Violence awareness announcement will be flighted across the Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces. Digital Dimensions generously agreed to cover the print costs of all the posters, each of which will feature the straightforward message 'Stop Gender Violence' together with the relevant helpline number.
According to Brad Fisher, ADreach CEO, "Violence in South Africa, in particular, Gender Violence has eroded the fabric of our society for far too long now, and it desperately needs to be stamped out."
It becomes hard to ignore the issue of abuse and violence against women and children when the harsh reality is that babies as young as three weeks old are being raped in South Africa and shocking statistics like the fact that one in three women will be raped once in their lifetime abound.
"As a company which prides itself on being socially responsible, ADreach's primary objective with this campaign is to create a real awareness of the occurrence of Gender Violence in South Africa and to play a significant and notable part in the eradication of this dreadful occurrence," says Fisher.
Russel Herbert of Digital Dimensions says, "Digital Dimensions decided to get involved in this campaign because abuse of all sorts is rampant in our society, and that urgent action needs to be taken to arrest this intolerable situation. and we truly believe that women and children represent the future of our country.
"Although we unfortunately do not possess the manpower to get involved on a more personal level, we do hope that, through these street pole advertisements, we are able to advance the awareness of the campaign against the abuse of women and children, as they represent the future of our country."
According to Lauren Jankelowitz, Executive Director of Lifeline Johannesburg, "It is difficult to get reliable statistics on violence against women and children in South Africa, as many cases go unreported. What statistics do show, however, is a more than 400% increase in the number of reported cases of child abuse in South Africa over a period of just over 10 years, as well as that more than 69% of the victims of abuse are female.
"LifeLine feels it imperative that victims are made aware of the help which is available, literally just a phone call away. Through this campaign we have been allowed the opportunity to publicise our Gender Violence helpline number, thereby encouraging people to call when needed. For victims of abuse, life can be tough, stressful and filled with loss and trauma, and LifeLine can help individuals make sense of these feelings."
Over and above the psychological and physical stressors of abuse, gender-based violence can result in women feeling very isolated and alone and, according to Jankelowitz, "The Gender-Based Violence helpline can be a real lifeline for women who need support and counselling to cope with the resultant trauma and distress.
In conclusion, Jankelowitz states that, "LifeLine is very grateful for this Street Pole Advertising campaign, as we believe that this will assist us in effectively broadcasting our Anti Gender-Based Violence message and the relevant helpline."
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