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Roar for the cause at Sisters with Blisters 2016

For the first time in Durban, East Coast Radio and 1st for Women have teamed up to host the Sisters with Blisters protest walk against gender based violence. The walk takes place at Chris Saunders Park, Centenary Blvd, Umhlanga. Let’s walk as one and make our collective voices heard. There is strength in numbers and with that strength comes power – the power to make a difference.

South Africa has one of the highest rates of violence against women in the world and the Department of Justice estimates that 1 out of every 4 South African women are survivors of domestic violence.

In 2014/2015, it was estimated that 563 841 sexual offences occurred but only 62 649 sexual offences were reported. 8 174 of these sexual offences cases went to court, and only 1% of the perpetrators got jail time for their horrendous crimes.

Violence against women is a social tragedy. It transcends political, religious and economic boundaries and it has detrimental consequences for our nation at large. Besides the far-reaching psychological effects of abuse, it costs South Africa between R28.4 billion and R42.4 billion per year.

“We still have a long way to go before gender-based violence is a subject that can be freely spoken about,” says East Coast Radio’s Marketing Manager, Renée Burton. “Through an event like Sisters with Blisters, East Coast Radio together with our partner First For Women see an invaluable opportunity to amplify awareness and make voices be heard. Through the diverse appeal of this event, we simultaneously shatter perceptions that gender-based violence only occurs in certain communities only. It could be your mother, sister, aunt, friend or colleague. It’s everyone’s problem and we will be bringing the issue to light at Chris Saunders Park on 20 November 2016.”

Every year, from 25 November to 10 December, the world turns its attention to the plight of abused women. Much is done during this brief time to raise awareness, expose this social tragedy and campaign for equality, but is it enough? A bruise can heal in 16 days but for the survivors of abuse, the veiled emotional scars last a lifetime.

“More can and must be done to highlight this injustice. Every case of a woman being abused is a case too many. Too many survivors continue to suffer in silence and it’s our joint responsibility to do whatever possible to change this,” says Casey Rousseau, spokesperson for 1st for Women Insurance and the 1st for Women Foundation which to date has raised R49 million to fight violence against women.

“This will be the largest peaceful protest of its kind – a chance for men, women, children to come together, walk as one and make our collective voices heard. There is strength in numbers and with that strength comes power – the power to make a difference,” says Rousseau.

Together, as a sisterhood, we need to start driving more meaningful change in the lives of victims and survivors of abuse and start putting the women of South Africa first.

This November, sisters, misters, kids and their four-legged friends, are invited to join 1st for Women Insurance and East Coast Radio for the largest peaceful protest of its kind – Sisters with Blisters 2016.

Entry is R80 for the 5km walk. The entry fee is R35 for pensioners and kids under 12. Enter online at
www.sisterswithblisters.co.za