Cape Town – Three Cape Town anti-gender-based violence activists will walk through Namibia to raise awareness of sexual assault and femicide.
Anglican priest, the Reverend June Dolley-Major, Felicity Roland and Celesthea Pierang started their journey on Thursday, when they drove to Steinkopf in the Northern Cape, where they stayed last night.
They will begin their 360km walk in Windhoek on Friday. They aim to reach Swakopmund by October 8.
This time last year, Dolley-Major and Pierang set off to walk from Sir Lowry’s Pass to Makhanda, in the Eastern Cape, for the same cause.
Dolley-Major said: “The theme of the walk is the same as last year – ‘Try Walking In My Shoes, The Shoes Of A Rape Survivor’. The main purpose of the walk is to raise awareness of gender-based violence and femicide in both countries; to create safe spaces for victims/survivors to share their stories; to send a message of hope to all survivors that there is life beyond rape, to take their power back, move from pain to power, to purpose.”
She said each day would be dedicated to a specific person or group. The women are part of the non-profit company, Walk In The Shoes Of Survivors.
“What we hope to achieve is to show people what life is all about for a rape survivor. It’s not just something that happens once and one gets over it,” Dolley-Major said.
Pierang said they were excited to be embarking on their second awareness walk. “This walk will once again highlight the plight of survivors in our rural areas as well our neighbouring country, Namibia, which shares very similar statistics to us,” she said.
Pierang said there was a lack of political will to address gender-based violence and femicide. “We are physically and mentally more prepared but expect to hear about more devastating stories and will share it with the world to hear,” she said.
The activists have appealed to the public to donate towards the cause, which will help other victims and survivors.
Their journey can be followed on the Facebook page Justice for Rev. June Dolley Major and for All Victims/ Survivors of Abuse.