Renate Engelbrecht
Content producer
3 minute read
13 Dec 2021
10:56 am

Brümilda van Rensburg and other influential women address GBV

Renate Engelbrecht

Together with Powa and Joko, actress Brümilda van Rensburg, Miss South Africa 2016 Ntandoyenkosi Kunene and businesswoman Lynette Ntuli have created awareness during this year’s 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children.

Brümilda van Rensburg backing campaign against GBV. Picture: Supplied

People Opposing Women Abuse (Powa) and Joko have joined forces with three inspirational South African women, including actress Brümilda van Rensburg, to place a spotlight on one of the biggest problems in the country: gender-based violence (GBV).

Impacting almost every aspect of life, this systemic crime is deeply entrenched in institutions, cultures and traditions across South Africa.

A big part of what makes it so easy for perpetrators of GBV to get away with it, is that women are too afraid to speak up and speak out.

Van Rensburg, the owner of an acting academy, says: “Over the years I have seen women who have faced GBV really feel a sense of shame and fear around not only reporting GBV but just being able to speak about it to a friend or family member. Being part of the #DonateYourVoice campaign is important for me as it encourages women to step forward and get their voices heard.”

One in five South African women is a victim of domestic violence and more than half of all women murdered were killed by an intimate male partner.

Lynette Ntuli says: “Gender-based violence has no bounds – no age, demeanour, class, access, education, public standing or colour will protect you from it.”

Brümilda van Rensburg creates awareness around gender-based violence
Creating awareness around gender-based violence. Picture: iStock

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There are currently three bills that have been introduced in parliament, relating to gender-based violence:

  • The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act to include the offence of sexual intimidation and to broaden the offence of incest and the reporting duties of people who suspect a sexual offence has been committed against a child. It also expands the scope of the National Register for Sex Offenders to include details of all sex offenders. It will also be made available in public.
  • The Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Bill will also make it harder for perpetrators of gender-based violence and femicide to be granted bail.
  • Proposed amendments to the Domestic Violence Act extend the provisions to those who are engaged, dating, in customary relationships and actual or perceived romantic, intimate or sexual relationships of any length of time. The definition of “domestic violence” is also extended to protect the elderly from abuse by family members.

President Cyril Ramaphosa signed and passed the Prescription in Civil and Criminal Matters (or Sexual Offences) Amendment Bill and announced this on 20 January 2021.

POWA’s Acting Executive Director, Jeanette Sera says women are stronger together. “When one woman talks about her experiences around gender-based violence, she not only begins to free herself but empowers other women to do the same. POWA believes this partnership will help bring more awareness to the issue of GBV as part of the #DonateYourVoice campaign.

Behind every statistic is a real human story – with the power to overcome. These stories deserve to be heard. Donate your voice and help make a difference to #EndDomesticSilence. R1 from every Joko pack sold goes towards supporting the organisation and its initiatives.