Lawyers against Abuse (LvA) is a new organisation providing pro bono, direct, and urgent legal services to victims and survivors of gender-based violence in Diepsloot. For the last while, LvA has been sharing a premises with Afrika Tikkun.
In order to raise funds for the construction of an office for LvA, they hosted an art auction on Thursday, 19 March. Pieces for the auction included work by William Kentridge and Thonton Kabeya.
Sonke Gender Justice donated a piece by our very own, very talented, Demelza Bush. The photograph, titled – Ngeniswa Jamella, sold for R4 000. Sonke did some GBV oversight work in the Dutywa, Eastern Cape area last year and Ngeniswa was one of the women we met.
From her interview: “A young man expressed interest in my daughter and unofficially took her as his wife. I raised the issue of Lobola, but he did not respond so I went to fetch my daughter and brought her home with me. The man then burnt my house and everything I own down and he physically assaulted my daughter. I am not alright, I make my own provisions to survive, I have no source of income, no salary or stipend. We don’t get any assistance from the police. We get victimized and the perpetrators are set free. We need to end the violence because we are dying, we are perishing, we are not being assisted in any way, we are struggling.”
Lawyers against Abuse (LvA) empowers victims of abuse with professional and specialised legal advice, assistance and representation, working within a referral network of partner organisations. In this way, LvA supports victims of gender-based violence to demand and enforce their human rights, including their rights to dignity, freedom from violence and equality. Sonke Gender Justice partners with LvA on some of its community education work.