"We live in what our president has called 'one of the most unsafe places in the world to be a woman'," says Casey Rousseau from 1st for Women Insurance. "[It is] a country where a woman is murdered every three hours and where 52 420 sexual offences were reported in just 365 days."

"While women abuse has been declared a national crisis, there's a lot that still needs to be done to bring this dark subject into the light," adds Casey Rousseau from 1st for Women Insurance.

The first projection was filmed in Faerie Glen, Pretoria. It pays tribute to Chanelle Henning, a young mother who was murdered in November 2011. The first tribute can be watched here

Future projections will pay tribute to victims including:
  • Hannah Cornelius, who was raped and murdered near Stellenbosch
  • Clarissa Lindoor, who was murdered in Stellenbosch
  • Courtney Pieters, who was raped and murdered. Her body was found in Epping Industria, Cape Town
  • Janika Mello, who was raped and murdered in Heinz Park, Cape Town
The light projections were conceptualised by 1st for Women's creative agency FoxP2. They will be released every day for the first 15 days of the '16 Days of Activism' campaign.

On the 16th day — which is Tuesday, 10 December — the full-length video will be projected onto the side of a well-known landmark in Johannesburg. The tribute will also be broadcast live on social media.

Lisa Bayliss from FoxP2 says, "We wanted to convey two things. Firstly, women abuse can happen anywhere and to anyone. All too often we think 'it won't happen here' or 'it won't happen to me'. We wanted to prove otherwise by highlighting the actual locations of attacks — urban and rural — [because] it happens everywhere." 

"The second point we wanted to make is that when a woman is murdered, there is brief outrage. But then we quickly move onto the next news story and the epidemic of women abuse and femicide fades back into the darkness. We want to keep women abuse in the spotlight — by literally shining a light on it," adds Bayliss.

"During 16 Days of Activism,  we'll remember the women we've lost, celebrate the lives they led and make sure that this dark subject remains in focus — not just for 16 days but for 365 days a year, every year — because remembering is not enough," concludes Rousseau.

Since 2005, the 1st for Women Foundation has contributed over R70 million to various organisations that focus on fighting women abuse. Over this period, 90 000 victims and survivors of abuse have been assisted by the foundation.

In 2017, 1st for Women launched For-Women, a platform that consolidates all women abuse fighting efforts in one place. This site features the public, private and non-profit organisations who intend to fight women abuse, so that survivors of abuse can find the right help quickly.

For-Women also aims to enable South Africans and corporate South Africa who want to take a stand against women abuse. The platform aims to help individuals easily connect with organisations who need help.

Additional information about the campaign can be viewed here

For more information, visit www.for-women.co.za. You can also follow the '#16DaysofLight' campaign on Facebook, Twitter or on Instagram.