South African Breweries revamps shelter for victims of gender based violence

SOUTH AFRICA – In recognition of international 16 Days of Activism for no violence against Women and Children, South African Breweries has partnered with the Mpumalanga Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison to hand over a revamped shelter to the woman of Mmametlhake in Mpumalanga.

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day.

The campaign was started by activists at the inauguration of the Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991.

It is used as an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

Through handing over of the shelter, SAB has demonstrated its support to confronting these challenges by leveraging its partnerships with government departments, NGOs and other stakeholders to assist with some of these societal challenges. 

Communities and Social Impact Director at SAB, Heidi Bartis says, “For us, this shelter is an important step towards supporting, empowering, and protecting women, who are sadly among the most vulnerable in society. We will continue to prioritise the provision of assistance to women who have been victims of GBV.”

The shelter first opened its doors in 2010 and continues to support women and children who have been victims of GBV.

The victim empowerment shelter supports and empowers women across Mmametlhake, Vaalbank and Siyabuswa. In September 2022, SAB gifted the shelter with upgrading and refurbishment of their facilities.

“SAB wants to be part of the solution and assist in solving societal challenges. As a result, we will continue to offer our support to women who are at risk in hotspot areas,” says Bartis.

SAB further solidifies its commitment to fighting GBV through its evidence-based responsibility platform SAB Sharp.

The platform enables the drinks maker to run interventions to accelerate the fight against the irresponsible consumption of alcohol at scale and with pace by leveraging partnerships with government, communities, civil society, retailers, tavern owners and media agencies.

The launch of this shelter also echoes the efforts of SAB brands like Carling Black Label, which also runs the famous #NoExcuse initiative which leverages of a key partnership with Father a Nation (FAN), a non-profit organisation which address GBV, crime and fatherlessness by restoring and equipping men to be nation-builders and role models.

With the help of FAN, SAB was able to launch a WhatsApp based helpline for victims and perpetrators to seek help from counsellors or mentors.

“We recognise that GBV is a widespread problem, affecting numerous women and children in South Africa and we will continue to fight this social ill.

“The revamping of this shelter in Mpumalanga, together with all other SAB initiatives, we can actually make a tangible difference and end the scourge of GBV in our beautiful country,” she concludes.

Meanwhile a Victim Friendly Facility (VFF) was also handed over to Mmametlhake Police Station.  The purpose of the VFF is to temporarily provide shelter to victims of GBV and also to ensure privacy when they open cases to prevent secondary victimisation.

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