South African men such as Matthew Booth, Robert Marawa and DJ Fresh have rallied behind the No Excuse campaign that was launched on Monday to raise awareness against gender-based violence.
Andrea Quaye, Vice President – Marketing for AB InBev, said the company decided to launch the campaign against violence following research suggesting that South Africa had one of the highest levels of violence against women.
“Three women every day are killed by their partners or by their ex-partners,” she said.
The aim was to tell people that there was no excuse, including alcohol, to be violent towards women, also encouraging witnesses of abuse to not stand back and do nothing.
“The reason we’ve named it ‘No Excuse’ is because we believe that in order to have an impact and to move the needle, we need to change behaviour. And the behaviour we want to change is the behaviour where people do not act against abuse, especially at the beginning. If you do not act against abuse, things get worse and the cycle just kind of continues, that’s why we named it ‘No Excuse’.
“We did quite an extensive research around this and the number of excuses people come up with during the abuse and also neighbours who hear the abuse and don’t get involved, so the idea behind No Excuse is to say to men specifically, stand up, be counted, get involved and do not accept any reason to abuse a woman,” added Quaye.
At the launch of the campaign, DJ Fresh said he decided to join the campaign for personal reasons, adding that the last straw for him was when his then three-year-old son witnessed one of his fights with his wife of 15 years.
“The reason I agreed to do this is because for me, it was a personal thing. I have been married for 15 years and the first two-three years of my marriage was very … We fought a lot about nothing sometimes. And sometimes our fights would degenerate into, and I remember our son was three when he caught one of our fights.
“For me it actually bothered me that my son was seeing me being that guy.
“At times we think just because we didn’t beat her up, we are not abusers. Sometimes even a loaded statement cuts deeper,” he said.
This he wants to use to set a good example to his son on how to treat women.