Champions against gender-based violence
CONVERTING EVERY STUDENT INTO A CHAMPION AGAINST GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE
Soon, the University of Fort Hare will be rid of all forms of gender-based violence (GBV). This is the noble aspiration of a group of students who not only volunteered for training but have committed to becoming Champions Against GBV.
In April 2019, the Student Affairs division assembled a group made up 60 students from Psychology, Social Work and Criminology departments. The group, fondly known as the ‘Champions’, has attended several workshops to capacitate them for this cause. According to Mr Malinge Gqeba, Dean of Students, the main objective of forming the group was to create awareness about the scourge of rape and sexual harassment on campus.
“Since establishment, the Champions have visited classrooms to talk to other students, they hold talks in residences and they give support to survivors of sexual harassment and rape. They have also been visible at evening functions where alcohol is served,” said Mr Gqeba.
At these events, the Champions can be seen in a white tent where they give assistance to intoxicated students, intervene in conflict situations, identify, and report perpetrators. They have developed a good working relationship with Campus Protection Services and enjoy support from their academic departments.
Their work among students has led to cases of GBV being reported and a significant drop in the number of reported GBV cases. “There was no incident reported in the Miss Fort Hare Beauty Pageant”.
"Their aim is to convert every student into a champion against GBV,” said an elated Dean Gqeba.