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Welcome To The Republic Of Sexual Abuse

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Violence against women and children is a detrimental world phenomenon, however. South Africa has become home to alarming levels of violence against women and children. 

Zkhiphani had the privilege to attend the launch of The Republic of Sexual Abuse Exhibition (RSA) in Rosebank aimed at highlighting gender-based-violence in South Africa. 

The collaboration between Black River FC, ad agency, and People Opposing Women Abuse (Powa), was launched at the start of 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign, a global campaign which begins on 25 November and concludes on 10 December each year. 

The campaign seeks to highlight the state of violence against women and children in South Africa while arousing a spirit of solidarity between the two genders to make the world a better place for man, woman and child. 

Violence against women and children is a detrimental world phenomenon, however. South Africa has become home to alarming levels of violence against women and children. 

Jeanette Sera, Counselling Services Manager at POWA, said: “We know all this. What is going to change? Why do we preach to the converted? These are just some of the responses we get, especially around 16 days of activism. 

And yes this exhibition is to capture the attention of the media: media that are as beleaguered and defeated as you are with all this news, but our focus is on the students (high school and tertiary) that we are inviting in, that we will be hosting, conversing and debating with. Because while the adults are tired, the youth are not.” 

The exhibition 

A huge map hangs on the wall of the exhibition, shaped as South Africa, but with the provinces renamed with crimes perpetrated to women. 

There are crime dockets swept under a rug as an installation to show how easy it is to get off cases of violent crime against women. 

There’s R100 notes with penises instead of Nelson Mandela on them while R10 notes have a vagina, signifying how woman are of lesser value than man in the Republic. 

Let me not reveal too much but the exhibition will shock, disgust and make you leave wanting to contribute to fighting the scourge of woman crimes taking place in South Africa and the world. 

Roanna Williams, Executive Creative Director at Black River FC, said: “We could not watch another 16 days of activism and say or do nothing. This exhibition is a creative expression of reality. It is also a space and place to engage and debate and to celebrate and hero the NGOs like POWA who are on the frontline of the RSA everyday fighting the war.  

“We want to expose students to the behaviors that have led us, and then we want to share the NGOs that are doing so much and who need their (our help) to #GetOurCountryBack.”  

The RSA exhibition is on at The Zone Rosebank (opposite KFC) from 26 November – 10 Dec from 10am – 4pm. 

High school and tertiary students will be given priority entrance to the exhibition and there will be counsellors on hand to engage, “This is not a shaming campaign,” said Sera, “But it is a necessary one for change.”  

“Instead of celebrities and influencers it would be lovely to see students sign up as spokesperson for RSA,” said Williams, “Anyone who wants to make a change – your voice matters, your opinion matters, it’s your future that is at stake. The youth are our watchdog and we want to listen to their reactions and their thoughts to this exhibition and to the work of NGOs like POWA.” 

Find the initiative on the following social media pages:  

Twitter: @WelcomeToRSA  

Instagram: @RepublicofSexualAbuse  

Facebook: Republic of Sexual Abuse  

Use the hashtags #RepublicofSexualAbuse and #GetOurCountryBack on your posts. 

Check out the video for more about what went down at the launch. 

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