Bikers get revved up about abuse

Coleen Bownes, of Villiersdorp, speaking up for victims of abuse. Picture: KAREN WATKINS

Bikers descended on N1 City in Goodwood on Monday to show solidarity with victims of abuse.

The event, Sisterhood against GBV (gender-based violence), was held in honour of National Women’s Day the day before and called for bikers to wear black and red.

Revving their engines, the bikers set off along the N1 to meet other like-minded bikers at the Grand Parade before heading to Mitchell’s Plain on the N2.

“It’s easy to say that women should go to the police to report abuse, but often they feel shame, fear and they don’t see an outcome – what will their family say?” said Coleen Bownes, who came from Villiersdorp to join the ride. She advised people to listen to their neighbour, the woman down the street, the family member, and, if need be, help them go to the police and find them somewhere safe to stay.

Billy Duddy, of Parow, said it wasn’t only women who suffered abuse. He said he had stayed in an abusive relationship for 20 years for the sake of his children. “For a man, it’s the shame of telling another woman that you’ve been in an abusive relationship. The ego gets in the way,” he said. 

Lizette “Kasi” Hartman, of Bellville, said she had joined the ride to make a stand against what she saw happening with friends and families where men were dominant and women were at their beck and call.

Ruben de Lange, 11, of Goodwood, was with his mother, Bianca Barnard. He said he had come to stand against violence against women.  

National Women’s Day commemorate the march by about 20 000 women to the Union Buildings on August 9 1956 to protest against the apartheid state’s pass laws.