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The truth about teen pregnancy

Young people, particularly young women, are often portrayed as irresponsible and feckless – getting pregnant young and having children that they can ill afford. We are frequently warned about rising rates of teen pregnancies and the affect this is having on society. The fact is that overall, the percentage of women age 15-19 who have begun childbearing is unchanged since 1998. But the numbers are still high and there is no doubt that early pregnancy can have a negative effect on a young woman’s life chances. To find ways to stop our children having children, we need to dig deep…

Learning to survive

Sexually and physically abused as a child, singer Jennifer Jones learned how to overcome her trauma and survive. Now an ambassador and volunteer at Lifeline, Jennifer is helping other survivors to find peace and move on with their lives. “I was orphaned at two and adopted five times, during which time I was abused, raped and even burnt. I decided that I had to change my own circumstances. In silence I would cry and the hate would grow so strongly that I couldn’t love. I started hating very hard and left to live on the streets in a park in…


Two separate pieces of research published recently by NACOSA highlight the need for services and screening for victims of gender based violence as a critical part of the country’s HIV response. In this edition of the Informer, we focus on the relationship between gender based violence (GBV) and HIV.


Total shutdown: Ntosh’s Story

By Sydney Davis, Provincial Manager, Eastern Cape On 1 August 2018, while the country woke up to the call for a Total Shutdown against Gender Based Violence, Ntosh started her day reflecting on the way violence shaped her life. At the tender age of ten years she was knocked unconscious by boys and raped. Five years later this young woman was once again cruelly violated by a man. As she reflected on her life that morning, she vividly remembered the pain, the humiliation of her womanhood. “My heart was bitter, no sleep, no joy, no smile…” On this morning she…