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Lebo Mashile says victims of GBV still experience a deep sense of shame

14 January 2021 - 11:57 By deepika naidoo
Poet Lebo Mashile says even though we are moving towards a society that believes survivors, there are still many hurdles to overcome.
Poet Lebo Mashile says even though we are moving towards a society that believes survivors, there are still many hurdles to overcome.
Image: Instagram/Lebo Mashile

World renowned poet and actress Lebo Mashile took to social media with some advice for victims of gender-based violence (GBV) looking to come forward with their stories.

In a Twitter thread, the Flying Above the Sky writer started off with a reminder to fans that GBV is a delicate subject, but people are tired of living in fear.

Lebo went on to note how in recent years, more and more victims are coming forward with their experiences on social media.

This marks a change in our culture. We’re moving towards creating a society where victims are believed. However, please be aware of the legal implications of naming someone as a perpetrator. This could lead to further trauma. Make sure you aren’t inadvertently breaking the law,” she tweeted.

She also shared advice on ways to avoid 'naming and shaming' perpetrators while still having your voice heard.

“There are ways that survivors can share their stories, build solidarity, and expand these important conversations online. Referring to the perpetrator as 'colleague', 'friend', 'ex', or 'stranger' or using a pseudonym can protect you from being sued or facing legal action,” Lebo said.

The Hotel Rwanda star also offered solutions to the scrouge of violence against women, saying that it starts with a change in culture or shift in society's views.

“We need to create a culture where victims are provided with support at multiple levels. If you or someone you know has experienced #GBV, go to the police station or shelter as soon as possible immediately after the act. This gives you the best chance of building a case,” she said.

Check out the thread below:

This isn't the first Lebo has been vocal about her opinions on gender inequality in society. Twitter saw the rise of the #I was movement, where women across the African continent opened up their experiences with sexual violence. Lebo joined in the conversation, citing heinous examples of male privilege.

Male privilege is keeping silent while women post rape threads year after year. Male privilege is calling demands for accountability 'male bashing'. Male privilege is waiting for the conversation of Twitter to change from gender to something else before you participate,” Lebo tweeted.


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