This is the State of the Nation Mr President, what are you going to do about it?

These were the words on a poster held up by young school girls in Cape Town today, where I joined countless others in a silent vigil to protest against the unacceptable level of violence against women and children in South Africa, spurred on by the brutal rape and murder of Anene Booysens.

This is the State of the Nation Mr President - what are you going to do about it?!

This is the State of the Nation Mr President - what are you going to do about it?!

It is the first time that I have ever ‘stood vigil’ or even attended a ‘rally’, always having felt in the past that I would rather put my energy into something ‘tangible’. But, standing in silent protest today was strangely empowering – especially because there was such a feeling of unity amongst all of us there today – standing together as angry, impassioned South Africans regardless of our different cultures, races, religions, ages or genders (or even nationalities, as Annie Lennox was there today speaking out in protest too). There is a groundswell of intolerance in the belly of our country right now and it is ‘tangible’ – and I sincerely hope that after two weeks, it is not forsaken and simply forgotten, but that it continues to grow, gathering momentum until our Government start taking appropriate and immediate action to stop these horrific acts of violence from happening again and again….

A protestor holding up one of our posters today at the march in Cape Town today

A protester holding up one of our posters at the silent vigil held in Cape Town today

And one of the ways we know they can do this, is to promulgate the DNA legislation that will at the very least help get rapists off the streets, before they can rape again and again. We know that DNA evidence convicts rapists. There is no reason why the DNA Bill, now finalised and ready to be tabled, should not be prioritised to help fight crime in this country.

If you are joining in one of the many #1billionrising marches tomorrow, please print out one of these posters we have made: DNA Convicts Poster , which can be blown up into any size you choose, to highlight our fight and force Government to stand up and do something!

Vanessa Lynch talking to Annie Lennox about the lack of appropriate DNA laws in SA

Vanessa Lynch talking to Annie Lennox (who joined in the silent protest today) about the lack of appropriate DNA laws in SA

For More details of where you can join in a #1billionrising march tomorrow, click here.

Stand up and be counted.

Vanessa Lynch & The DNA Project Team

On the 14th of February the global movement of V-Day will come to life. This day is about you, and 1 billion women from all over the world rising against the abuse of women and children.

ONE BILLION RISING is a global call to women and men across the planet to gather in their communities to demand an end to violence against women and girls. ONE BILLION RISING is a promise that on February 14th, 2013, we will ensure that millions of women and men rise up around the world to say, “ENOUGH. The violence ends NOW.”
1. Invite your friends to join the One Billion Rising campaign.
2. Attend the One Billion Rising event in your area.
3. Share information across all social media platforms about your local event, as well as stories about what inspires you to strike and rise.
4. Use the hash tags #1billionrising #reasontorise and #VDay
5. Change your profile picture on social media platforms to the One Billion Rising logo.

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