The Pietermaritzburg Gay & Lesbian Network is to host a series of events as part of its support of the 16 Days of Activism campaign from 25 November to 10 December.

“The focus of the Network’s campaign is to highlight issues the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community face and to create awareness within society of the existence of LGBTI people,” said the organisation in a statement.

The campaign has a two-pronged approach: firstly, targeting LGBTI people by informing them of their rights and secondly, creating awareness among the general public of issues faced by the community.

The campaign’s events include: workshops on heterosexism (7 and 9 December), a domestic violence workshop (29 November); story-telling by lesbian rape survivors (5 December); and marketing of the Network’s gay and lesbian Helpline through a poster blitz.

The Network has teamed up with Justice and Women who will facilitate a domestic violence workshop. The topics to be discussed are: what is domestic violence and are same-sex couples affected by it; causes of domestic violence; protection orders; causes of domestic violence; support available and; how to help a friend or family member who is in an abusive relationship.

Lesbian rape survivors will recount their stories in the hope that other survivors will come forward to receive support.

Part of the campaign is to take its message to areas like Sobantu and Estcourt, which have not previously been a focus of the Network’s efforts. The organisation will also be supporting initiatives by other organisations during the 16 Days of Activism.

For more information about the Network’s events please phone (033) 342 6165, e-mail or visit the organisation’s office at Tembaletu Centre, 206 Burger Street, Pietermaritzburg.

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