STATEMENT ON PSI ZIMBABWE #NOBLACKEYES CAMPAIGN: WE APOLOGIZE

We apologize sincerely for the poorly considered #NoBlackEyes campaign launched in Zimbabwe for 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence 2020.

This isn’t the first or last time PSI has used unconventional approaches to highlight tough issues, but in this case, we wound up trivializing what is a serious, global epidemic of gender-based violence, and may have retraumatized survivors.

We have taken down the offending social media campaign and will work to relaunch it responsibly.

Any contest entrants will be offered free counseling through the Sisters Connected ZW program. Anyone in Zimbabwe who believes they are in any danger from gender-based violence should not hesitate to call the toll-free line for services and counseling: 08080117.

According to UNFPA, in Zimbabwe, “about 1 in 3 women aged 15 to 49 have experienced physical violence and about 1 in 4 women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15.” PSI Zimbabwe, in partnership with the Ministry of Health is working to reduce gender-based violence, violence against children and child marriage as part of our Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights programs.

According to UN Women, gender-based violence affects more than 243 million women and girls worldwide. Less than 40 percent of women who experience intimate partner abuse report it or seek help. This has only gotten worse in a pandemic year where families have become more stressed with loss of earnings and a heightened inability to leave one’s home. In some countries, calls to helplines have increased by five times.

To learn more about how you can raise awareness to end Gender-based Violence and the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence campaign, go to Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!

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