Santi Britz is a wife, mother, grandmother, businesswoman, and founder of iDUC. The horrific reality of crime in our country brought her life to a sudden standstill on 21 January 2009, when she was brutally raped in her home. Some of the painful realities were:

  • re-living the rape trauma when she had to give her statement to the police over and over again to make sure they had all the facts to enable them to catch the rapist,
  • the humiliation of the forensic rape kit examination,
  • side effects from the ARV medication and most of all,
  • her family being ripped apart by the emotional trauma of this horrific crime.

After many months of agony and a long day in court, her rapist was sentenced to life in prison.

Looking back today, she realizes that this is not only her journey, it is a journey that so many victims have to face on a daily basis in SA. A journey of devastation, denial, shock, horror, pain and so much more. But most of all in her case, it was a story of brutal honesty and indescribable hope!

The story of iDUC begins when she was given a beautiful plastic duck by a young friend a few days after she was raped. She did not know it then, but that colourful duck would become an icon of hope in her own life, as well as in the lives of hundreds of rape victims. After the sentencing of the rapist, Santi started assisting rape victims who did not have the support she had during her ordeal. One of them was a beautiful little 5-year-old girl, who witnessed her mom being raped. The impact of the trauma caused the little girl to stop speaking. When Santi was contacted by Childline to assist this little girl, she remembered the beautiful plastic duck that was such a comfort to her in her time of trauma because of its simplicity and realness. Santi gave the duck to the little girl and told her that she was also raped like the little girl’s mother. That colourful duck meant so much to her and she explained to the little girl that she is ok now and her mommy is also ok. The duck now needs to continue its journey of healing and Santi put the duck on the little girl’s lap. She started speaking to the duck! Two weeks later she testified in camera with the beautiful duck in her arms and the rapist was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

In 2013 the AHi published an article on the story of Santi Britz in their annual Congress booklet held in Potchefstroom. The abuse against women and children was and still is close to the heart of the SACBW and they saw the opportunity to make an impact and a beautiful relationship was formed. The story of the little girl and plastic duck grabbed the heart of the then President, Hester du Bruyn. She was instrumental in founding the NPC called iDUC, (INITIATIVE FOR DEDICATED UPLIFTMENT AND CARE), named after that symbolic gift of hope.

The SACBW in collaboration with The Job Club donated a container to the iDUC project and this container was converted into a safety hub on the Northwest University Campus where iDUC is actively involved in running a GBV program for the University. Today iDUC assists victims of abuse and rape, gives support and assistance to Crisis Centres, and creates awareness amongst men regarding their role in stopping this horrific crime. The soft toy duck was designed by Sonia from Bothaville and many soft toy ducks and bath ropes were handed to centers to comfort victims.

The SACBW will forever have a very special place in the hearts of the iDUC team and will always be remembered as one of the role players in creating change in SA regarding GBV.

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