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Carling Black Label launches WhatsApp line to help GBV victims

With the country now under level 4 of the lockdown and government doing all it can to ensure that the spread of the novel coronavirus is contained, it has been struggling to address the high volumes of domestic abuse.

Picture supplied.

JOHANNESBURG – Brewing company Carling Black label has created a WhatsApp line, under its #NoExcuse campaign, to help and encourage victims of domestic abuse to speak up during the national lockdown.

With the country now under level 4 of the lockdown and government doing all it can to ensure that the spread of the novel coronavirus is contained, it has been struggling to address the high volumes of domestic abuse.

Last month, Police Minister Bheki Cele said while other crimes in the country had significantly gone down, gender-based violence remained a concern and called on communities to assist the police as most perpetrators are often known.

Cele said of the then 3,000 cases of domestic violence recorded since the start of the lockdown, perpetrators known to victims were implicated in 2,500 cases.

In a statement released on Friday, the brewing company’s brand director Arné Rust said: “This is a very concerning development, which we are faced with, particularly as we do not know how many cases remain unreported.”

Rust said the brand wanted to encourage victims to be brave and also give a helping hand.

“This WhatsApp line gives victims of abuse who could be men or women a way to get counselling silently. It also puts men who are struggling to be their inner champion in touch with a mentor, someone to talk to, so that they can start on the journey to be champion men. All of this can now happen silently.”

According to Rust, all victims have to do is send the word BRAVE to 0800 150 150 to get in touch with the right organisation to get the help they need.

“We will also be partnering with other corporate entities, government departments as well as affiliates such as Takuwani Riime and the Men’s Sector to grow awareness of the service and remove barriers to getting assistance. Whilst #NoExcuse has always encouraged victims to be brave and report immediately, there are other socio-economic problems that need to be considered,” Rust said.

According to Rust, the campaign has two phases: “The first phase being to raise awareness about the LifeLine number, as people should know there is help available to them. The second phase is to provide them with insight on the WhatsApp functionality and that help is only one Brave text away.”

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