According to statistics the reported cases of gender-based violence have spiked from 1 500 to over 5 000 during the first phase of the national lockdown. Cases were reported during the level 5 shutdown from 27 March to 30 April. The scourge of gender-based violence has not only sparked grave concern in government and civic organisations, but also prompted action from various organisations. Carling Black Label, through the flagship #NoExcuse initiative, introduced a WhatsApp line to help victims of abuse nationwide. “This is a very concerning development which we are faced with, particularly as we do not know how many cases remain unreported. The WhatsApp line gives victims of abuse, who could be men or women, a way to get counselling silently. It also puts men who are struggling to be their inner champion in touch with a mentor, someone to talk to, so that they can start on the journey to be champion men. All of this can now happen silently,” said Arné Rust, brand director.“Our new approach is a WhatsApp service where people can send the word BRAVE to 0800-150-150 and get in touch with the right organisation to get the help they need. We will also be partnering with other corporate entities, government departments as well as affiliates such as Takuwani Riime and the Men’s Sector to grow awareness of the service and remove barriers to getting assistance,” said Rust.This campaign has two phases – the first phase being to raise awareness of the number, as people should know there is help available. The second phase is to provide them with insight on the WhatsApp functionality and that help is only one “Brave” text away. The #NoExuse “The Bravest Thing” programme will be rolled out on social media, with the assistance of influential figures in TV, presenter and medical doctor, Dr Musa Mthombeni; sports presenters Thomas Mlambo and Andile Ncube; radio DJ Moeti Tseki and former football player, Phumudzo Manenzhe. The public can visit website on www.noexcusesa.com or follow the conversation by visiting the sponsor’s verified pages on social media.