Tell us your story! – Survivors of gender violence

Tell us your story! – Survivors of gender violence

Date: November 5, 2010
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Gender Links is inviting submissions from women and men across Southern Africa who have survived or been affected by gender violence, or are reformed perpetrators, to tell us their stories as part of this year’s 16 Days of Activism on Gender Violence. We will select an assortment of these experiences and life stories to be included in a special collection of “I Stories,” that will be published in a book series, on the GL website and in the mainstream media across the region as part of the campaign. Interested participants may also take part in audio interviews.

Each “I Story” will share the personal experience of someone who has, in some way, been touched by gender-based violence in their lives. Gender violence can take many forms – physical, sexual, emotional and economic. In the past, we have heard stories from women who have left abusive relationships, young people who have coped with sexual abuse, and perpetrators of violence. We would like to hear from a wide range of people from different perspectives – men and women, mothers, fathers, daughters and brothers. This year Gender Links is looking for many diverse stories in different themes from throughout the region. We are especially looking for stories from outside South Africa. This includes experiences of gender violence and stories along the following themes:

– Domestic violence
– Children and violence (sexual abuse by non-family and family members, witnessing abuse)
– Violence against those who are different (disability, lgbt, migrants)
– Gender violence and HIV and AIDS
– The economics of abuse: Stories about staying in violent situations because of dependence, violence against sex workers, domestic workers and migrants
– Cultural violence (polygamy, violence against women due to cultural practices)
– Institutional violence: Stories about violence at the hands of police, the justice system)
– Men as partners: Stories from men who have witnessed or experienced violence
– From victim to survivor: Stories of survival and triumph over adversity after violence

(Please be aware we will also be commissioning commentary pieces on these issues and welcome topic ideas from journalists and activists)

First hand accounts are one of the most compelling ways of bringing home the reality of gender violence, its consequences, public and private responses. By telling your story, you can help raise awareness. People who would like to use a pseudonym are welcome to do so, and should indicate this when submitting.

To submit your ideas, please send a paragraph outlining.
* Who you are and why you want to tell the story.
* Where and when does the story take place?
* What is the story you want to tell?
* How would you like to be identified?
* Would you like to write your own story or would you like help?
* Your contact information; preferably an E Mail address and cell phone number.

EVERY story is important. However, we will review and select story ideas for our collection based on the need for a diverse range of stories – region, perspectives, experiences, and issues raised by the 16 days campaign. We encourage people who have never written before to also submit, our editor will help you to shape your ideas. People may write their own story or we may pair individuals with writers who can help shape the story for publication.

In four countries Botswana, Lesotho, Mauritius and South Africa, workshops will be held to assist those who need help in writing their stories. (To find out more about these workshops contact: Loveness Jambaya Nyakujarah on 011 622 2877)

Stories will be distributed widely to mainstream media and you will receive feedback on how your story has been used. All participants whose stories are used, and/or assist in the writing of stories, will also receive a small honourarium.

Who and when
Please send ideas to by Thursday 4 November 2010. All final stories must be submitted by Monday 15 November 2010.


To read other ‘I’ Stories, please visit:

Click on the links below to read the whole story…

When a child is raped:
My name is Natasha Kangele and I am from Malawi. I came to South Africa when I was ten years old. As a child, I grew up with my mother’s sister due to family problems. Growing up in my aunt’s house was not a piece of cake. It was like living in hell because she did not like me that much.

Disability does not mean inability:
My name is Grace Dimakatso Maleka, I was married to my husband for 20 years. We were blessed with three children, two of whom are still alive. Since we began to live together we did not have a happy relationship, we used to fight every weekend when he came home drunk.



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