Week of Deaf people tackles Gender-Based Violence

As part of commemorating International Week of Deaf People, organisers of the annual #SilentWalk&Run will gather in Johannesburg to raise awareness about gender-based violence in the deaf community.

The family event, which includes a 5km walk, aerobics, tennis, yoga and many other activities will take place today at the Marks Park Sports Club, in Emmarentia, Johannesburg, from 8.15am.

The International Week of Deaf People starts on Monday and lasts until 25 September. It is commemorated annually to draw the attention of the public, government and business leaders to the issues that affect deaf people worldwide.

“Our plea to the authorities is to act swiftly and ensure that there are SA sign language services available at key service points such as police stations, clinics and hospitals.

“Many incidents go unreported and we are worried this may lead to the normalisation of GBV in the deaf community,” says Cebisile Ndebele, chair of Neema Foundation for the Deaf.

Neema, which means God’s Grace in Swahili, is collaborating with the City of Joburg, Gauteng provincial government, the City of Ekurhuleni, Safer South Africa Foundation (SSAF), eDeaf and Tears Foundation.

City of Joburg’s health and social development MMC Ashley Sauls has urged people to get involved and add their voice to the cause by simply putting their feet to the tarmac this Saturday.

“We know that people with impaired hearing are prone to suffering even greater indignity from people who do not understand their particular needs, vulnerabilities and struggles; or people who simply take advantage of their impairment.

“We fully support greater social change so that these people can be assisted at every stage of the journey to fight GBV being perpetrated against them.”

Building on last year’s success, SSAF is helping expand the footprint of the #SilentWalk&Run across six provinces: KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, Eastern Cape, North West, Mpumalanga and Western Cape.

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