Rape survivor changes lives

2015-08-25 06:02
Jes Foord gave a motivational talk at Hillcrest Government Hospital.
Photo: supplied

Jes Foord gave a motivational talk at Hillcrest Government Hospital. Photo: supplied

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Blurb:

‘You have taken my body, but you are not taking the rest of my life’

JES Foord (29) became a role model to many when she established The Jes Foord Foundation (JFF) following her gang rape by four men.

Foord’s story is moving and inspirational and her courage and strength in the face of the horrific incident resulted in something bad coming out good.

During this Women’s Month, Foord is giving back, in the form of a motivational talk at the Hillcrest Government Hospital, to her community and to those who stood by her during the traumatic event.

She spoke of how her life changed forever in 2008 when her father Tim and her went to a dam in the Shongweni area to walk their dogs and were surprised by a group of men who beat and tied her father up before forcing him to watch the gang rape of his daughter.

She spoke of how she didn’t allow the horrific incident to get her down, instead she used the ordeal to change the community in which she lives.

“You have taken my body, but you are not taking the rest of my life,” she said.

Foord said she decided to speak out rather than hide away in shame and established The Jes Foord Foundation.

“I formed the foundation to help restore life after rape by way of a number of initiatives and activities designed to change rape victims into rape survivors. I want to educate people and help them realise that there is life after rape.”

Foord works full-time at the foundation, gives talks at schools and organisations and improves education about rape among men and boys, and women and girls.

Her goal is to set up special care centres for survivors that will provide the medical, psychological and legal assistance they need, all under one roof.

“It will be a safe, comforting, clean environment staffed by highly trained, supportive people, which is currently not always the case,” she says.

The foundation relies on donations from companies and individuals who want to bring hope to hundreds of people who are going through the aftermath of rape.

“When you give your time or money to the Jes Foord Foundation, you are not only helping us to educate people about the real problems of rape, you are also helping to revolutionise the way rape victims are treated, a revolution that is long overdue if they are to become rape survivors. “You help them regain something priceless - their dignity and self-esteem.”

Foord delivers her talks in Durban and throughout South Africa. For more information, email Catherine on admin@jff.org.za To assist the organisation contact 0861 333 449.

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