Police minister Bheki Cele recently revealed, during a press briefing in Pretoria, that more than 80 000 new cases of domestic violence have been reported since the lockdown started.
Women and girls are forced to be with their abusers all day, every day during this period. In response to this and trying to lend a helping hand, the SABC as a public broadcaster is participating in a campaign to help fight gender-based violence (GBV).
SABC radio is calling on its listeners to take part in the GBV campaign, an initiative of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), to turn down the volumes of their radios.
The initiative, called Turn Down Your Radio, was launched yesterday in a bid to raise awareness of the increase in GBV during the Covid-19 lockdown. It also seeks to encourage proactive steps by ordinary people to take a stand against women and girls falling victims to abuse.
“The SABC is pleased to be participating in the Turn down your Radio campaign where together with other broadcasters we highlight the plight of #GBV. We as the SABC are committing to supporting the eradication of this scourge. #TurnDownYourRadio [sic],” the broadcaster tweeted.
The campaign will direct victims and GBV whistle-blowers to the department of social development’s official portal where they will get the help they need.
Radio stations will use different mechanisms to educate and inform listeners such as live reads, making use of social media and engagements with experts on the subject.
Nadia Bulbulia, executive director of NAB, says this initiative is in response to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call to get rid of GBV.
“Broadcasters are providing an essential service during the lockdown and are working tirelessly in support of government programmes to address societal issues. We therefore commend the NAB CRC for this vital campaign at this incredibly difficult time in our country and globally,” she said.
Members of the public who feel threatened in any way, can contact the Gender-Based Violence Command Centre on 0800-428-428 or *120*786#.
Thuthuzela Care Centres remain open around the country for those affected.