Johannesburg – Following the 2021 launch of the #NoExcuse Bride Armour campaign ahead of 16 Days of Activism, Carling Black Label has opened a support centre for victims of abuse and transgressors looking to make a change.
On Wednesday, the brand in close partnership with Father A Nation (FAN) and Lifeline opened the doors to the support centre at an intimate ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by locals and Community Leaders of Alexandra Township at Nobuhle Hostel, Gauteng where the Centre is located.
In 2018, Carling Black Label, Lifeline, and FAN distributed an online booklet called “No Excuse for Abuse” to give practical guidance on ending GBV
The booklet was written by Craig Wilkinson, best-selling author and founder of the Father A Nation NGO.
In the same year, the brand launched the isiZathu radio series, which also marked the start of its partnership with the NGO, Lifeline as sponsors of the Stop Gender Violence Helpline (0800 150 150).
Through the Helpline, the aim has been to support those affected by GBV, reducing its occurrence, empowering those impacted by GBV to start the healing process, and giving an entry point for perpetrators to start the counselling process to stop committing GBV. It is a national toll-free helpline for survivors, witnesses, and perpetrators of gender-based violence.
In early 2020, during the lockdown #NoExcuse, FAN and Lifeline used the Helpline to create a WhatsApp-based platform to enable potential victims and perpetrators to be able to have a ‘silent’ conversation with a counsellor or a mentor.
The brand has confirmed the effectiveness of the helpline saying it received about 5 000 unique interactions on average per week. 40% of the interactions were men seeking mentorship that de-escalated situations before they turned violent. More than 50 000 people have received help using this line.
Furthermore, the Carling Black Label team describes the support centre as a physical representation of the WhatsApp line.
“Through the #NoExcuse Support Centre we would like to make a change in this community. The centre has two main objectives which are to provide counselling and support in a safe professional environment for victims of GBV. Our second objective is to prevent GBV from happening by providing a variety of programmes and interventions aimed at restoring, equipping, and inspiring men to be good mentors, role models, and fathers who stand against any form of abuse.” Said Carling Black Label Brand Manager, Candice Van Den Boesch.
The centre will be managed by Father-A-Nation (FAN) in collaboration with Lifeline.
“This is truly the kind of action we need to put an end to GBV in the community. The Centre will be a place of safety and the beginning of healing, not just the individuals but the community at large. We would like to thank Carling Black Label, our team at Father-A-Nation and Lifeline for seeing the dire need for a place of safety for victims, witnesses, and even the perpetrators,” said Community Leader & experienced FAN mentor, Charles Mphephu.
Mphephu’s utterances were supported by Van Den Boesch who said “The onus is on men to seek and strive to ‘being better’ within their household and communities. This much-needed process of healing, inspiring, and equipping men to be great role models, fathers and mentors begin with men consciously holding themselves accountable for their actions. The ripple effects of such action will be men holding themselves and the men around them to a higher standard as Champions for Change who use their strength only for good and stand against any form of abuse.”
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