Lifestyle

Gender Based Violence Feature

SPAR EC throws its weight behind GBV movement

BOLD STATEMENT: SPAR Eastern Cape has thrown its weight behind the END-GBV movement (Picture – Leon Hugo)
BOLD STATEMENT: SPAR Eastern Cape has thrown its weight behind the END-GBV movement (Picture – Leon Hugo)

The SPAR Group has put its hand up to do something tangible about gender-based violence (GBV), with a number of projects being initiated to assist those affected by this scourge.

The Eastern Cape distribution centre launched its support this month when managing director Angelo Swartz announced R50 000 donations to the Rape Crisis Centre in Port Elizabeth and Masimanyane in East London.

SPAR EC human resources logistics manager Darlene Gajjar, who serves on the group’s National Anti-GBV Committee, said their goal was to “unmask gender violence to expose the physical and emotional scars it creates”.

“Many victims of GBV do not report the violence due to fear, the social stigma associated with reporting such cases, or because the perpetrator is known to the victim,” she said.

“So, during these Covid-19 times where everyone is wearing masks to prevent the spread of the virus, we would like to ‘unmask’ gender violence.

“People affected by GBV want to be heard, but very often are too afraid to ask or seek advice to manage their situation. We want to encourage people to speak out.

“We want to start talking about it, challenging people to stop and think, and hopefully help to end the silence and the indignity.”

Gajjar said this was an ongoing initiative built on raising awareness and providing education and support.

To this end, SPAR has signed a memorandum of understanding with LifeLine South Africa, the organisation responsible for maintaining and running the toll-free END-GBV Helpline.

“The number is printed on SPAR shopping bags for easy access and it can also be used via the WhatsApp service to communicate with the counsellors,” she said.

Information is also available on posters and branding in SPAR stores.

The retailer has adopted the colour orange in its campaigns to be part of the global fight against GBV. The colour was selected by United Nations Women to symbolise a future free of violence.

Visit www.spar.co.za/gbv for more information or phone the helpline on 0800 150 150.

This article was paid for by Spar EC.

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