While South Africa’s government and all its essential care providers are hard at work, leading the fight against Covid-19, civilians are in another battle against Gender Based Violence.  Statistics show that during the national lockdown period, reported cases of Gender Based Violence have spiked from less than 1500 to over 5000 per week.

This spike has rightfully raised the ire of government and civic organisations, and prompted a response from various organisations, including Carling Black Label’s #NoExcuse initiative.

“This is a very concerning development which we are faced with, particularly as we do not know how many cases remain unreported. As a brand that is committed to recognizing the champion within, we want to encourage people to be brave and give them a way to get help. This WhatsApp line gives victims of abuse who could be men or women a way to get counselling silently. It also puts men who are struggling to be their inner champion in touch with a mentor, someone to talk to, so that they can start on the journey to be champion men. All of this can now happen silently.” said Carling Black Label Brand Director, Arné Rust.

“Our new approach is a WhatsApp service where people can send the word BRAVE to 0800 150 150 and get in touch with the right organisation to get the help they need. We will also be partnering with other corporate entities, government departments as well as affiliates such as Takuwani Riime and the Men’s Sector to grow awareness of the service and remove barriers to getting assistance. Whilst #NoExcuse has always encouraged victims to be brave and report immediately, there are other socio-economic problems that need to be considered.

Given the various circumstances people find themselves in during the lockdown, it is difficult for victims of abuse to call for help and also stops men who are ashamed of showing weakness from reaching out. So, the text-based service will enable them to silently send a text for help, without being detected.” Concluded Rust.

This campaign has two phases – the first phase being to raise awareness about the LifeLine number, as people should know there is help available to them. The second phase is to provide them with insight on the WhatsApp functionality and that help is only one Brave text away. #NoExcuse has a holistic approach to ending GBV through various programs aimed at men who are seeking mentorship and assistance in becoming better men and to provide the victims of abuse with help. The Helpline is for both men and women.

This #NOEXCUSE “The Bravest Thing” programme will be rolled out on social media, with the assistance of influential figures in TV, presenter and medical doctor, Dr Musa Mthombeni; Sports presenters – Thomas Mlambo and Andile Ncube; Radio DJ, Moeti “Mo Flava” Tseki and former football player, Phumudzo Manenzhe.

Having launched in 2017, #NOEXCUSE is Carling Black Label’s contribution to the global AB-InBev commitment of investing $1 billion in dedicated social marketing campaigns and related programs by the end of 2022. The programme is aimed at driving awareness, provoking action and providing tools to take positive action as a means creating a Better World. #NOEXCUSE refers to there being no excuse for men to abuse women, and no excuse for men to stand by and do nothing when others abuse.

For more information, consumers can visit the #NOEXCUSE website on www.noexcusesa.com or following the conversation by visiting the Carling Black Label verified pages on social media.