The issue of gender-based violence was put in the spotlight at the MTC Nestor Sunshine Boxing and Fitness Academy.
Boxing is one of the most popular sports in Namibia. It is perceived as violent, but on the contrary, it teaches discipline and self-control.
Namibian statistics suggest that gender-based violence is spiralling out of control in Namibia, with ,according to Sister Namibia up to one third of Namibian men believing that wife beating is justifiable (Source: sisternamibia.com).
Gender-based violence transcends race and social backgrounds – it’s everyone’s problem.
On October 21, 2017, Namibia’s boxing community, together with LifeLine/ChildLine, took a stand against gender-based violence by putting two fake fighters in the ring – a man and a woman – and then publicly announcing their stance of Boxers Against Violence.
Publicity was drummed up weeks before fight night, with the male and female actors appearing as opponents in boxing posters advertising the event. The man was large, and dressed in a vest, whilst the woman was small, and clothed in a flimsy dress to highlight her vulnerability. Social Media was abuzz with speculation and outrage.
On fight night, the ring announcer called up the fake fighters and read a statement denouncing the brutal and cowardly act of gender-based violence. He directed people who were victims of violence, or who knew of victims, to call the LifeLine/ChildLine Namibia toll-free 106 GBV HelpLine.
Boxing events in Namibia are well attended and are also aired on national television. This gave the Boxers Against Violence message a large enough platform to be disseminated amongst the general public. Information cards were also handed out to attendees which provided further details and contact information.
About LifeLine ChildLine Namibia
LifeLine/ChildLine Namibia (LL/CL), a registered welfare organisation, has been in existence for 37 years with a proven track record as a reputable counselling and counselling training service provider in the country. LifeLine/ChildLine Namibia is affiliated to Child HelpLine International, LifeLine Southern Africa and LifeLine International.
The organisation’s Counselling Centre operates 365 days a year, offering Counselling Services from 08h00 to 22h00 daily. This includes face-to-face counselling, a 23 22 21 crisis line, an 0811 400 222 SMS line as well as the 116 Child HelpLine and 106 GBV HelpLine.
LifeLine/ChildLine Namibia is present in Windhoek, Rundu, Nkurenkuru, Oshikango, Otjiwarongo and Gobabis. For more information, please visit the organisation’s website: www.lifelinechildline.org.na