Projects – Thursday’s In Black

Did you know…

In South Africa, a girl is more likely to be raped than to get an education. The frightening truth is that the number of women raped each year in South Africa is a queue of women standing shoulder to shoulder from Durban to Johannesburg and back = 915 kms.

  • 1 women is raped every 17 seconds.
  • 211 women are raped every hour.
  • 5082 women are raped every day.
  • 152 469 women are raped every month.
  • 1 829 520 are raped every year.

Did you know that in rural parts of our Province there is a practice called ukuthwal?   It is the practice of abducting young girls and forcing them into marriage, often with the consent of their parents.  The girls who are involved in this practice are frequently under-aged, including some as young as eight.     In 2009 the media reported that more than 20 Eastern Cape girls are forced to drop out of school every month because of ukuthwala.

Did you know that it is estimated that 30,000 children are being prostituted in South Africa and that our Province is one of the main “recruitment” areas for victims of human trafficking.

The members of Masithethe Counselling Services (formerly LifeLine East London) are challenging all local business’, schools and members of our community to join them in making a stand against rape, abuse and violence against women and children by wearing black every Thursday.

Campaign roots

The Thursdays in Black Campaign has its roots in the 1970’s protests by Mothers of the Disappeared in Argentina. These women began wearing black sashes in honour of their friends and family members who were being raped, abused and disappearing. They would gather every Thursday in silence to protest the loss of loved ones under the military dictatorship, with the aim of raising the government’s awareness that these acts of violence were happening in their homeland. Since then other groups have developed including women who wanted to express outrage at the rape-death camps in war torn Bosnia.

The campaign was launched in South Africa by the Diakonia Council of Churches in the 1980’s, as a peaceful way of saying ‘I support the human right of women to live in a world without violence, rape and fear’.

Support of the campaign has grown tremendously in the Kwazulu-Natal Province with the campaign being profiled during the 16 Days of Activism of No violence against women and children Campaign which runs from the 25th November to the 10 December every year.

“Thursdays in Black” is taking this challenge one step further, and is encouraging communities to wear black every Thursday going forward to create 365 days of no violence.

We at LifeLine East London would like to challenge our communities to stand with us, take up this challenge and make a stand towards a world without rape and violence.

Objective / Target

For all Buffalo City and surrounding residents to participate in the 365 day “Thursdays in Black Campaign” fighting for a world without rape and violence.

What to do

  • Share the campaign idea with your colleagues, peers, workforce, family members.
  • Adopt the campaign. Your dress options for the “Thursdays In Black” campaign include wearing anything black that you have in your cupboard or investing in buying a campaign T-shirt. For those of you who are required to wear compulsory uniforms you can still participate in the campaign by wearing the “Thursday In Black” campaign badge.

We know that wearing black does not stop rape or violence.  It is a sign of solidarity.  A pledge you take to participate in anti rape and violence activities.

You decide on the scope of campaigning!  It could be as simple as donating to Masithethe Counselling Services to support campaign initiatives or trauma counselling overheads so that we can continue to provide free counselling to survivors of rape and violence.  Or you could coordinate your own campaign activities in your social circle, work and/or community.  We will assist you where possible.

Share your campaign support by taking photographs of your team, colleagues, family, friends, neighbours on Thursdays wearing black. Forward your photographs to us and post your campaign support on your company website, blog, face book page, etc. Remember to forward your online addresses promoting your participation in the campaign.

Spread the word – promote the campaign. Get as many people to participate. Our goal is to have all Buffalo City community members supporting the campaign.  Imagine what we can accomplish if we work together to end rape and violence.