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Gun Violence Survivors – meet the women behind the statistics

  • August 2016
  • Posted By GunFreeSA

PRESS ALERT: Gun Free South Africa launches:  Gun Violence Survivors – meet the women behind the statistics

08 August 2016: As South Africa celebrates Woman’s Day, Gun Free South Africa launches:  Gun Violence Survivors – meet the women behind the statistics, a photo essay that pays homage to five powerful women whose lives have forever been changed through a bullet.

On 9 August 1956, more than 20 000 woman of all races displayed with conviction their strength, female solidarity and inner resilience against the Apartheid government’s pass laws as they marched to the Union Buildings.

Today, the context has changed, but as displayed through these five stories the strength and resilience of a woman has not. While the struggle stalwarts of 1956 used their passion for equality and to fight for justice against the apartheid regime, today’s generation portrays the same drive to overcome the socio-economic injustices and violence riddled societal challenges.

Their stories highlight the horror and pain that guns bring; and also show the resilience and the victories of each of these women. It tells the stories of survival, real life anecdotes from strong women.

Based on both international and national research, women are affected by gun violence precisely because of their gender. For example, a national study on femicide in South Africa estimated that one woman is killed by her intimate partner every eight hours.  These findings are staggering; and even though the number of women shot and killed almost halved from 32 percent in 1999 to 17 percent in 2009, due mainly to the effectiveness of the Firearms Control Act, the number still remains very high.    

As much as the numbers are important, the stories that make up the statistics paint an even more significant picture – these are stories of how a gun has changed lives, and dramatically altered trajectories of South Africa’s future generations.  These stories highlight the bold strength women display while bringing attention to gun violence and the important message that reducing access to guns can reduce gun death.

Gun Free South Africa also encourages other survivors of gun violence to share their stories.

The stories address, accidental gun death, femicide, homicide and domestic violence.  To show that gun violence does not discriminate and affects everyone not only those living in settings already affected by societal violence.

The stories will be shared on Gun Free South Africa’s Twitter page and can also be found on the organisation’s website

For more information on how to make South Africa a safer country by reducing gun violence visit

Media queries:

Nurahn Ryklief

Communications and Community Development Officer

Mobile: +27 (0) 83 300 9755