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Guns and Domestic Violence – the means matter

  • August 2017
  • Posted By GunFreeSA



Guns and Domestic Violence – the means matter

01 August 2017: This Women’s Month, Gun Free South Africa, Black Girl Fat Girl Magazine, Sonke Gender Justice, and the Reeva Rebecca Steenkamp Foundation are joining hands to highlight the risks that guns pose for women in their homes: the Medical Research Council (MRC) of South Africa found that a legal gun is used in 75% of cases in which a woman is shot and killed, and in 60% of cases this shooting occurs in her home.

To mark Women’s Month, the organisations sent out 120 packs of Bul-lets, a 15 tampon pack to raise the alarm on the prevalence of firearms in domestic violence.

If you are asking yourself what tampons have to do with gun violence, the explanation is as jarring as it is sobering.

Often in warzones where medical supplies are scarce, tampons have been used to stem the flow of blood from bullet wounds on the battlefield because they are very absorbent. The correlation between the two is that there is a war raging in the homes of many South African women, with the constant threat of domestic violence.

On 9 August 1956, more than 20 000 woman of all races displayed with conviction their strength; solidarity and inner resilience against the Apartheid governments pass laws as they marched to the Union Buildings. When these thousands of women raised their voices, there was a ripple effect and messages of empowerment spread and change happened.

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

Using the Firearms Control Act to save lives.

Under the Firearms Control Act, it is a right for any woman who lives in fear of violence in her home to ask the police to remove the gun immediately. Furthermore obtaining a protection order under the Domestic Violence Act allows the courts to remove guns and other dangerous weapons in domestic violence situations.

“Unfortunately in today’s times, the message has to be harsh in order for people to listen. The mere threat of a gun in the home is abuse in itself and will have devastating long term effects on a family,” says the Reeva Rebecca Steenkamp Foundation’s CEO Kim Martin.

If you or someone you know is part of a relationship where there is a risk of violence, it is important to take immediate action and make sure the gun or other dangerous weapon is removed – the means matter and removing the gun can save the lives of women and their children.

“Black Girl Fat Girl believes in the safety of women and children, especially in their own homes. We hope that this campaign helps to spread awareness about what’s possible in the eyes of the law and to empower women with this knowledge,” asserts Alexia Roussos, Black Girl Fat Girl’s Creative Director .

We are calling on women thought leaders and influencers to help stop this war in our homes and raise their voices against gun violence against women and to amplify the message on how existing gun laws can help remove a gun from the home and save a life.

Ends here.

Note to the Editor.

About Gun Free South Africa

Gun Free South Africa is a non-profit organisation committed to reducing gun violence in South Africa. Since being established in 1994, GFSA has remained a vital and vocal voice for the unarmed majority, helping contribute to overall safety and security in South Africa. As an organisation whose aim is to make South Africa safer by reduce gun violence, GFSA knows that strong gun laws reduce gun violence and save lives.

About Black Girl Fat Girl Magazine

Black Girl Fat Girl Magazine is an independent online lifestyle magazine for people that haven’t traditionally been represented by the media: women of colour, queer people, non-typical beauties and anyone else who isn’t sure where they fit in.

About Sonke Gender Justice

Sonke believes that our gender transformational work must promote the rights of women and girls and link with efforts to empower them. Sonke’s vision is a world in which men, women and children can enjoy equitable, healthy and happy relationships that contribute to the development of just and democratic societies.

About the Reeva Rebecca Steenkamp Foundation:

At the foundation we aim to be Reeva’s voice and continue her legacy. It was Reeva’s dream to open a safe house and to empower and educate against abuse of women and children.

For more information, please contact:

Nurahn Ryklief

Communications and Community Development Officer, Gun Free South Africa

071 876 1135

Alexia Roussos or Siphumelele Chagwe

Black Girl Fat Girl Magazine

082 303 1316 / 061 656 4124

Kim Martin

CEO, Reeva Rebecca Steenkamp

083 446 0862

Mzwake Khumalo

Co-ordinator of the Sonke Change Trial

073 085 1794