People ask why we go into the darkness, and the answer is simple – because there are people there.
Johannesburg, South Africa – She was beaten, bruised and pushed to the brink of breaking, but this incredible South African is not allowing three men and a violent, harrowing experience to change her view of our beautiful country.
On Thursday the 27th of September, Karen Landi became a crime statistic. The day started like any other for her… some charity work, looking after South Africa’s most vulnerable and most importantly teaching the youth of today to be better tomorrow.
Little did she know that as the sunset, she would be beaten, bruised and pushed to the brink of breaking in a violent hijacking that forced her to look fear right in the eye and come to terms that those moments could be her last on earth.
Her story is heartbreaking, tragic and somehow inspiring and we featured an exclusive interview on Good Things Guy which you can find here but Landi is not stopping there, the incredibly passionate South African has written an open letter to the President that we should all read.
Her letter was prompted by the recent brutal rape and murders that have triggered a national outcry and much soul-searching in a country that is often seen as one of the world’s most dangerous places for women and children but a country that also often appears completely numb to murder and sexual violence.
Amidst the heartbreak, many are standing up with ideas to combat crime and try better the statistics while the government sit in rooms discussing their options.
Read her letter below:
Dear Mr President
On the 16th February 2018 you sent out a call – #ThumaMina, in August 2019 you announced your “Khawuleza” model – moving with speed to deliver services, on Wednesday 18th September 2019 you announced a five-point emergency plan to put a halt to gender based violence.
I know that you have the will, there is a way – outlined in your emergency plan, what you need now are the right people. It is time to put to one side the bureaucrats and fat-cats, it is time to appoint the right people to get the job done – Khawuleza.
The right people are at the forefront of the scourge of abuse, violence, rape, and criminal acts against children – boys and girls – and women. They experience daily, first hand, the horrors, and yet every day they get up and show up providing support, counselling, medical care, love, kindness, empathy and compassion – for victims and their families. They seek justice for the victims and their families, they sit in court listening, actively holding to account perpetrators and a failing system.
The right people know the system – what is working and what is failing epically. They know the good guys – the people working in a system that is broken and too often re traumatises the victims. They know the bad guys – the apathetic, ineffective and inept that are causing the system to fail even further. They know what needs to be fixed and how to fix it.
The right people understand the cycle of abuse, they have identified that education needs to be a priority – in our schools and our communities, for years they have come face to face with rapists, pedophiles, sexual predators, violent perpetrators, the very worst of society – and yet they never flinch, never back down. The right people are courageous and tireless.
The right people work within organisational structures that are transparent and accountable. They successfully attract funding from the private sector who have already identified the importance of the work that they do and know that monies are accounted for, not squandered, that there is no bribery, no corruption – the money is spent as it has been intended.
Mr President – invite the right people to take a seat at the table, they have the skills, the experience and the commitment – give them the tools and let the right people get the job done.
This is my list of the right people. I have no doubt that there are many others who also have the skills and commitment but these people will know where to start and be able to put into action your five-point emergency plan to halt gender based violence.
Luke Lamprecht – Child Right’s Activist and Child Protection Specialist
Miranda Jordan – Founding Member and Director – Women and Men Against Child Abuse
Kevin Barbeau – Executive Director – Women and Men Against Child Abuse
Vincentia Dlamini – Operations Director – Women and Men Against Child Abuse
Rees Mann – Executive Director – South African Male Survivors of Sexual Assault
Dr Shaeda Omar – Director – The Teddy Bear Foundation
Michelle Hobkirk – Mothers Abuse Accountability
Nicky Shear – Mothers Abuse Accountability
Sheri Errington – Research Psychologist
“People ask why we go into the darkness, and the answer is simple – because there are people there.” Luke Lamprecht
It is time to bring light to the darkness Mr President and the time is now.