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Global beauty brand launches anti-intimate partner violence campaign in SA

Photo by Kat Smith from Pexels

The ‘Abuse is Not Love’ programme has been launched in South Africa by Yves Saint Laurent Beauty, together with local NPO, ADAPT (Agisanang Domestic Abuse Prevention and Training).

This campaign is specifically targeted at intimate partner violence (IPV) prevention. The WHO (World Health Organisation) defines IPV as, ‘any behavior within an intimate relationship that causes physical, psychological or sexual harm to those in the relationship.’

According to a study done by The South African Medical Journal (SAMJ), IPV is a silent public health epidemic in South Africa (SA). IPV actively contributes to the crime of femicide, which is generally understood to involve the intentional murder of women because they are women and, according to Statistics South Africa, most cases of femicide are committed by partners or ex-partners.

Says Yumnaa Waja, GM at L’Oréal South Africa, Luxury Products Division: “The sad reality of IPV in South Africa is that we have all been impacted, either because we ourselves have been victims, or know people who have been subjected to it and continue to suffer in silence. The intention of ‘Abuse Is Not Love’ in South Africa is to educate young people to recognise IPV when it happens, and empower our communities with ways to support friends, family and colleagues to be a part of the solution.

“The problem of IPV is so big that we can no longer ignore the social, political and economic impact it has in South Africa. We must actively create awareness and provide tools for a better tomorrow.”

Sidwell Sehoana, monitoring and evaluation manager at ADAPT, adds: “IPV is learned behaviour; given a chance, it can be unlearned as people are born inherently good. It is also of paramount importance that the focus should be on the positive benefits of being non-violent rather than on the negative consequences of being abusive or violent. This strategy has proven to be impactful on IPV prevention.”

Over the next three years, Yves Saint Laurent Beauty will support the prevention programmes of ADAPT, which will be rolled out at local university campuses with a key focus on students and lecturers. Yves Saint Laurent Beauty and ADAPT will also extend this training to YSL Beauty’s local corporate employees. These collective efforts made by YSL Beauty and ADAPT are all made in the hope of educating as many people as possible in South Africa about intimate partner violence by 2025.

Primary prevention programmes such as this address the underlying attitudes, norms and behaviours that support IPV. The ultimate goals of such interventions are to end violence, empower women and girls, and promote non-violent, equitable and respectful relationships.

Over the past two years, ‘Abuse Is Not Love’ has been rolled out across 23 countries and has educated over 267,000 people to better understand the warning signs of abuse and how to be an actor for change in their communities.

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