16 Days of Activism – Tips to helping South African women and girls stay safe and sound

Sun international has taken proactive steps to empower girls and women to feel safer by publishing a special booklet “Safe and Sound” authored by Sun International’s Transformation Manager, Ashnie Muthusamy, the book aims to spread information to enhance safety during the 16 days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and Femicide.

Safety rules for young girls                    

  1. Do not trust strangers: Do not share your personal information, such as your parents’ names, addresses, and phone numbers. Strangers may often know information about you before they approach you.
  2. Share your fears with your parents/guardians: Tell your parents about the things that make you feel scared, uncomfortable, or sad. Your parents are there to protect you. It is better to share how you’re feeling with your parents. Know the difference between a good secret and a bad secret. A good secret is fun to keep, such as a surprise party.  A bad secret feels bad to keep and makes you feel scared. If there are people who make you feel scared, always tell your parents.
  3. Getting into the car: When you get into the car, try to be as quick as possible. Once you are in the car, lock the door. This will keep you safe.
  4. Share information of a trip: Always tell your parents where you are going, with whom, and when you will return. If you go missing, your parents can save time and call the people who last saw you. Do not lie about where you are going to be. In an emergency, your parents cannot protect you and find you in time.
  5. Home safety: If you are alone at home, do not share this information even with friends. If someone calls, say that your parents are busy and cannot come to the phone; they will call them later. Make sure that the doors and windows are locked. Do not open the door for anyone. Call 10111 if a window is broken or if the door is open when you get home.
  6. Fight back: It is okay to scream and fight. Do anything to get the stranger to let go. Screaming is the most important thing you can do, especially screaming “NO!” “Help!” or “Danger!” to get an adult’s attention. Never get into a car with someone you do not know, even if they say they are going in the same direction.
  7. Avoid cellphone use in public: Cellphones can be a useful tool or distraction. If you are focused on your cellphone, your awareness of the surrounding areas is reduced. Research shows that using a mobile device can reduce your awareness by up to 80%.
  8. Question authority: Sometimes, seeing someone wearing a uniform or an official badge doesn’t automatically make them legitimate. Question their authority if you have any doubts. Do not go with them.
  9. The code/password strategy: Create a secret code or password with your parents. If you send them this code or password, it is a signal that you are in trouble and need assistance. This allows you a way to deal with uncomfortable situations.
  10. Dealing with strangers: Avoid walking alone and do not talk to strange cars or people. Walk on well-lit, busy streets, and in a group when possible.

You can download the rest of the booklet on this link: https://we.tl/t-FFaFh0zuor

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