By Danica Hansen
Hundreds of students gathered at Durban University of Technology’s (DUT) Steve Biko Campus for a silent protest against gender-based violence and rape on Wednesday, 16 August at 11 am. The protest march to the Durban City Hall saw mouths bound with tape as the students were encouraged not to speak but to use social media to express their voice with hashtags #webelieveyou and #breakthesilence.
“I think this is a societal problem that should not just be about women, we should be able to mobilise everyone to rally behind the programmes of this nations and it is important that universities participate because they are designed to produced tomorrows leaders,” said David Mohale, Director of special projects in the office of the vice chancellor of DUT.
Organiser Larissa Klazinga from the Aids Healthcare Foundation (AHF) said that a similar protest was held on Friday, 11 August in Grahamstown and that another march would be held in Cape Town on Tuesday, 29 August. “Unless we create a space where we believe what people say when something has happened to them we silence them,” said Klazinga.
At the city hall, the students lay down in a metaphorical death to symbolise the impact of gender-based violence and rape.