This past week, the SKY Girls BW team held an event in honor of Denim Day – a globally recognised commemoration in which all who stand in protest against attitudes around sexual assault and victim blaming wear denim on the last Wednesday of April. Denim Day was originally memorialised after public outrage over a court ruling was contended against; the verdict being that the victim of a rape case had a consensual role in the act of assault due to the victim’s choice of dress—a pair of jeans.
The event was for our various stakeholders and partners, with the aim of starting a dialogue around issues of sexual assault and the organisations in Botswana that are there to assist. The organizations, DREAMS, Stepping Stones, Valor Mental Health, Botswana Gender Based Violence Centre were in attendance alongside a select few SKY Girls who volunteered their time and efforts.
One of our key speakers, Phelelo Moswetsi of the Botswana Gender Based Violence Centre, shared insightful statistics on the rise of GBV cases in Botswana. She went on to speak on how counselling is important for both the victim and the perpetrator and also gave an open invitation to victims of GBV to get immediate support at their center. Closing her remarks with a preventative measure against any and all future incidents by informing those in attendance of how perpetrators of GBV are also counselled after being identified; to establish whether the offenders had been socialised in an environment where abuse was normalized.