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GBV perpetrators urged to get help

JOHANNESBURG, Thursday 23 November 2023

For immediate release

The Salvation Army has added its support to a multi-faith campaign to bring an end to gender-based
violence (GBV).

The Salvation Army’s leader in Southern Africa, Commissioner Torben Eliasen, says: “I personally
challenge every leader of every faith community in South Africa, including my own, to spend the 16
days of activism proclaiming from their platforms of leadership the need for women and children to
be safe from GBV. In the name of our Lord and Saviour, they must strongly urge every person
perpetrating GBV to acknowledge their wrong-doing and get help to end the violence of their

“We welcome this inter-faith initiative as one with a broad range of support. The fact that 85% of our
country’s population claim some allegiance to a faith is a strong indicator that as faith communities
we have a huge responsibility to take action against GBV,” he said.

Commissioner Eliasen added: “The Salvation Army is deeply concerned about the increase in
gender-based violence (GBV), particularly the incidence of rape, in South Africa. The statistics have
reached utterly alarming proportions and it is clear that women and children are not safe to go about their daily activities and, in many cases, are not safe even in their own homes.”

The campaign is a joint initiative between multiple faiths, including Christianity, to forge a path to
address the national crisis of a country that has the highest incidence of rape of any country that is
not at war, according to the driver of the campaign, “Faith action to end gender violence.”

According to the crime statistics for the period April 2022 to March 2023, as many as 118 rapes
were reported per day in South Africa and almost 11 women were murdered per day, constituting a
20% increase on the previous year – and 33% of these were murdered by their intimate partners.

Those involved in the campaign include include scholars, activists and leaders from the following
faith traditions (in alphabetical order): Baha’i; Brahma Kumaris, Christian (3 traditions, led by
SACBC, SACC and TEASA), Hindu, Muslim, Traditional Healers (including those from African
Traditional Religions, under Ikhwelo), and to a limited extent, Jewish.



The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian
Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by love for God, and its mission
is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs without discrimination.

The Southern Africa Territory of The Salvation Army encompasses four countries – South Africa,
Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland – and the island of St Helena. Its officers, soldiers and full-time
employees provide their spiritual and community services through approximately 230 corps
(churches), societies and outposts, as well as through schools, hospitals, institutions for children,
street children, the elderly, men and abused women, and daycare, goodwill, rehabilitation and social


Major Thataetsile, Public Relations Secretary
Tel: 011-718-6745
Cell: 082-994-4351
Ruth Coggin, Quo Vadis Communications
Tel: 087-286-6444