07 October 2007

Helping rape survivors

Janine Rowley grew up in Pretoria and later spent 20 years in Italy where she graced the runways in Versace and Armani creations. She was discovered by a photographer on the island of Ischia while working as an au pair. This glamorous sounding life story has a dark side. Janine is a rape survivor, not once but five times. She was molested as a child, gang raped in Miami by four men when she was 20 years old, and by a man she dated at the age of 25. Eleven years ago she returned to South Africa, where she now runs Women Against Rape (WAR). Janine makes up about 70 care packages each week, which she distributes at police stations in Sunnyside, Silverton, Pretoria West, Laudium, Eersterust and Mamelodi. She also distributes at the Pretoria Academic Hospital. Some packages are sent to Soshanguve and Umkomaas. The packages contain soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, face cloth, hand cream, shampoo, underwear, candy and a small teddy bear. These packages are mostly funded from her own limited funds, and from sales from bead work that she creates with Salome Mojela and the street children from the Ithumeleng Centre in Pretoria. Each package costs between R80 and R100. Janine would like to open a home where broken people can be healed again, and she wants to distribute more care packages. To support WAR (a registered non-profit organisation) email Janine at war@womanagainstrape.co.za