Tears of Joy

Breaking the Silence: Unveiling the Shadows of Gender-Based Violence
In today’s world, where progress and empowerment are championed, it is disheartening to acknowledge that gender-based violence remains a pervasive societal issue. Across many communities, the horrors of abuse have become normalized, perpetuating a cycle of suffering and silence. It is within this context that we must recognize the urgent need to break the chains of indifference and fight for those that have been silenced for far too long.

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Help Joy reach her dreams to become a nurse!

If this story has moved you and you have the means to donate in whatever capacity, please follow the link below.
Southern Africa, encompassing countries such as South Africa and Zimbabwe, stand as a troubling example of the prevalence of gender-based violence. Shockingly, statistics reveal that one in four women experience severe gender-based violence on a daily basis within this region. The alarming numbers paint a harrowing reality, where countless lives are marred by the relentless grip of fear and abuse.
In our quest to understand the depth of this issue, it is crucial to recognize the various manifestations of gender-based violence that plague Southern African societies. The realities of femicide, rape culture, and other forms of abuse cast a shadow over the lives of countless women. Yet, what exacerbates the situation is the normalization and cover-up of these acts, often justified by dismissive phrases such as, “It’s our culture.”
It is precisely against this backdrop of normalized violence and cultural acceptance that Joy, a courageous woman, has stepped forward to share her story. Through her bravery and determination, she aims to shed light on the plight of women trapped in abusive relationships, living as captives of fear and torment. Power and control being central to this narrative and the cycle of abuse.
This short film delves into the depths of gender-based violence in Southern Africa, through Joy’s heartfelt and true story, drawing attention to the urgent need for change.
As a young woman about to start college, Joy fell pregnant. In her culture the only option was marriage. She then lost her first child at 9 months pregnant due to the consistent beatings by her husband. “I was one of those women” says Joy – “I should have left a long time ago”.
Trapped in a cycle of abuse, Joy endured unimaginable beatings after losing her child. Unable to tell anyone due to fear, based on the strong belief in her culture that no woman should ever talk about what happens inside her marriage.
Joy found herself pregnant once again. Amidst the shadows of despair, hope emerged when her second child defied the odds and was born strong and healthy. It was the newfound strength of motherhood and the realization that she had support that emboldened Joy to make a life-altering decision: she would escape from the clutches of her abusive husband, with her 3 week old baby.
With nothing more than a few belongings and an indomitable spirit, Joy made a daring escape under the cover of night in Harare, Zimbabwe. Her journey is one of both heartbreak and inspiration, marked by the courage to break free from the chains that bound her. Today, she shares her story, knowing the immense power it holds in offering solace and support to others who have endured similar abuse. Her willingness to confront the pain and vulnerability associated with sharing her experiences is a testament to her unwavering determination to bring about change. Through her story, Joy strives to empower others, shining a light on the urgent need to address and eradicate the pervasive issue of gender-based violence.
Joy’s dream is to become a nurse. To many this may sound like something easy to achieve. Or feel that she should “dream bigger”. This dream is a testament to her strength and compassion. It’s bigger than all of us realise and it is impossible for Joy to achieve alone given her current situation.
We have the opportunity to support Joy in achieving her aspirations and transform her life.
To make her dreams a reality, we invite you to join us in donating towards Joy’s journey. Our goal is to raise $11,000, which will cover the costs of her three-year nursing diploma, provide financial stability for her and her child, and ensure all essential needs such as transport, healthcare, housing and food are met while she focuses on her studies.
Additionally, your contributions will also support the production for a more comprehensive mini-documentary, allowing us to share Joy’s story and shed light on the experiences of others facing similar challenges. By amplifying their voices, we can raise awareness and inspire collective action to address gender-based violence.
Your donation will have a direct impact, empowering Joy and enabling her to break free from her past. Being an example to other women who feel trapped. Together, we can support her journey towards healing, education, and a more promising future. Join us in making a difference by donating today.
Joy’s powerful narrative serves as a beacon of hope, a testament to the strength and resilience of those who endure unimaginable suffering. If we do not open our arms and let people know that they are supported, that there is help on the other side – they will remain trapped in this reality forever.
Together, we can strive to create a society where no woman should ever experience the horrors of abuse, and where compassion and justice prevail over violence and oppression.

Here are the organisations that we will be sharing more about on our social media platforms that are focussed on supporting victims of gender-based violence. They are only some – there are many – we are so grateful for each and every one of them and the individuals that are working relentlessly to eradicate gender-based violence.

Help Joy reach her dreams to become a nurse!

If this story has moved you and you have the means to donate in whatever capacity, please follow the link below.
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse and needs helps – reach out for help. There is support and hope on the other side.
Photos by Sam Suter and Oli Caldow.
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