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#16DaysofActivism: 1st for Women spotlights GBV with #16daysoflight campaign

During the national 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign, 1st for Women aims to shine a light on women abuse by projecting 15 haunting tributes to victims of brutal murders, rapes and femicides onto very dark places - the actual locations of the crimes.

“We live in what our president has called 'one of the most unsafe places in the world to be a woman'. A country where a woman is murdered every three hours and where 52,420 sexual offences were reported in just 365 days. While women abuse has been declared a national crisis, there’s a lot that still needs to be done to bring this dark subject into the light,” says Casey Rousseau, senior manager: marketing at 1st for Women.

The first projection was filmed in Faerie Glen, Pretoria. It pays tribute to Chanelle Henning, a young mother who was murdered in November 2011.

Future projections will pay tribute to victims including Hannah Cornelius who was raped and murdered near Stellenbosch, Clarissa Lindoor who was murdered in Stellenbosch, Courtney Pieters who was raped and murdered – her body was found in Epping Industria, Cape Town and Janika Mello who was raped and murdered in Heinz Park, Cape Town.

Full-length video to be broadcast live

The light projections were conceptualised by 1st for Women’s creative agency, FoxP2, and will be released every day for the first 15 days of the 16 Days of Activism campaign. On the 16th day (10 December 2019), the full-length video will be projected onto the side of a well-known landmark in Johannesburg. The tribute will also be broadcast live on social media.

Lisa Bayliss from FoxP2 explains the idea behind the light projections. “We wanted to convey two things - firstly, that women abuse can happen anywhere and to anyone. All too often we think ‘it won’t happen here’ or ‘it won’t happen to me’. We wanted to prove otherwise by highlighting the actual locations of attacks – urban and rural – it happens everywhere. The second point we wanted to make is that when a woman is murdered, there is brief outrage, but then we quickly move onto the next news story, and the epidemic of women abuse and femicide fades back into the darkness. We want to keep women abuse in the spotlight – by literally shining a light on it,” says Bayliss.

“During 16 Days of Activism we’ll remember the women we’ve lost, celebrate the lives they led and make sure that this dark subject remains in focus, not just for 16 days but for 365 days a year, every year - because remembering is not enough,” says Rousseau.
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