A Kuils River woman who was raped, beaten and left for dead is launching an awareness campaign to tell survivors of violence that they are not alone.
Shuandre Lottering, 35, in partnership with the Make A Difference Cape Town (M.A.D CPT) organisation are gathering creatives, models, influencers, photographers, dancers and volunteers to be part of the Break the Silence campaign, which will formally launch on 28 November.
The mom of five says her life story inspired other survivors to join her campaign.
“Ten years ago I was kidnapped, forced into a car, taken to a house where I was kicked, punched and stabbed,” she recounts.
“It carried on for three days, where I was gang-raped and burnt with candle wax, I was shoved with bottles to the point where I couldn’t feel my vagina or anus anymore, I just wanted to die already.”
She survived the horror, but it drove her to drugs for five years.
But Shaundre says she has also slain that demon, and now she and other women will tell their stories with the aim to inspire other survivors speak out.
“For years on the Cape Flats, we have been suffering under a pandemic. A pandemic of death, rape, gender-based violence and sexual abuse.
“This pandemic has increased daily and has now officially become something known as the ‘silent war’.
“The Breaking The Silence Campaign is a community of people that is using their stories to educate and empower survivors by sharing their stories and making a difference in homes, schools and communities, to break boundaries and to make a noise in this silent war,” she says.
For the launch, the campaign will host a free family day on 28 November at Hazeldene Primary in Mitchells Plain and everyone is welcome.