In South Africa, among those who consume alcohol, nearly one in two men (48.1%) engage in heavy episodic drinking of which 56% is beer. Heavy alcohol consumption by men is associated with intimate partner violence. 56% of female murder victims in South Africa were killed by their intimate partners. The festive season (December) coincides with the wedding season (Nov – April); a time when couples are planning and executing their socially expressed commitments to each other. November ends with the global #16DaysofActivism against gender-based violence. This gave the brand a high relevance window of opportunity to grab both men and women’s attention and reinforce the #NoExcuse message. At South Africa’s biggest fashion week, the brand ‘hijacked’ the runway. As the bride-to-be walked down, the real voices of the survivors told their abuse stories. These survivors were present in the audience and stood up to be seen at the end of the film. For many of these women, it was the first time they chose to speak publicly about the abuse they suffered. It was the first time they publicly spoke their truth and identified as Survivors as Intimate Partner Violence. The first crucial step to changing their narrative and being seen as survivors not victims. The stunt ended with the ‘#NoExcuse for women abuse’ message and the “bride” removing the armour. Together with a representative of Father-A-Nation, Carling Black Label’s on-the-round partner in male rehabilitation, the “bride” challenged all South African men to take a new vow: ‘to love, protect and never abuse’. A fashion film was created and distributed on the brand’s social media channels. Bride Armour, toured the country and was showcased at fashion events, bridal expos and finally, at taverns (shebeens) in prominent GBV hotspots across South Africa. All events ended with the #NoExcuse for women abuse message and a call-to-action to visit the noexcusesa.com site. On the website: more information on IPV, alcohol training, support materials for perpetuators of abuse, contact details for LifeLine. And a link to a petition on change.org asking the government to add our new vow to civil marriages.
Globally, 1 in 3 women experiences intimate partner violence (IPV). She will be brutalised by the man who vowed to love her. How do we raise awareness on IPV and make the vow against violence a reality?
#NOEXCUSE, in partnership with LifeLine, presents Bride Armour. An exquisite, yet horrifying gown created by award-winning fashion designer Suzaan Heyns. Informed by conversations with abuse survivors, every stitch, layer and seam of Bride Armour demonstrates the brutality of intimate partner violence (IPV).
The time has come for a new vow. To love, protect and never abuse. Go to www.change.org/noexcuse and sign the petition to help make this vow a reality. #BrideArmour