GWII Womens Day: The Jes Foord Foundation
Durbanite Jes Foord became a heroine to many South Africans when she showed courage and selflessness by establishing The Jes Foord Foundation (JFF), following her traumatic rape by four men in 2008.
One of her initiatives is the Handbag Project. Newused handbags are donated, containing items that can assist a rape victim during the initial reporting process at the police station. These are things such as a facecloth, soap, deodorant spray, new underwear, etc. Typically, any item of clothing with forensic evidence on it must be taken from the rape victim, at a time she already feels so vulnerable.
She then must undergo physical examination before being allowed to shower. A handbag with ‘comfort' items in it can go a long way in helping the victim feel a little better. The most important item in the bag however, is a letter with a few words of encouragement to restore some hope to the victim during this traumatic time. Jes said it can be a few wordsan essay but something from your heart to theirs.