Rape survivor walks 729 km over 27 days to end gender-based violence

Rape survivor walks 729 km over 27 days to end gender-based violence

- Leilani Kuter, the owner of Date Night SA, was the victim of a horrific rape and assault 27 years ago

- The incident took place at the NG-church Youth Centre while Leilani was still a teenager

- After struggling for years to come to terms with the assault, Leilani decided to mark the 27th anniversary by walking for 729km to raise funds for other young rape survivors

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Leilani Kuter’s life changed forever when she became the victim of a brutal rape and assault 27 years ago.

With her whole life ahead of her, Leilani moved into the NG-church Youth Centre in Pretoria after working at the Department of Finance.

At the tender age of 18, she settled into her dorm room when a stranger knocked on her door.

The man introduced himself as Frankie and persuaded Leilani to open the door as he needed to pass on a message to his sister, who lived next door.

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Leilani recalled: “In a split second, he was on top of me. I tried to reason with him but he wouldn’t listen. He took his belt off and wrapped it around my neck while he raped me so brutally I lost consciousness.”
Leilani described her frustration with police officers on the day as she said, “The police were very nonchalant about the rape. Speaking to me, it was as if they were asking me how I liked my eggs done.”

It took years for Leilani to pick herself up again and the 45-year-old woman admitted to having her fair share of depressive episodes.

Determined to move forward, she embarked on a successful corporate career.

However, Leilani took the bold decision to leave her dream job and started her own business, Date Night SA.

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As South Africans celebrated Women’s month in August, Leilani embarked on an ambitious project to raise R100 000 for the purchase of emergency kits for rape victims.

Thus far, her campaign has raised R59 278.38 through the BackaBuddy crowdfunding platform.

The entrepreneur has agreed to walk 27km for 27 days to mark the 27th anniversary of her own ordeal and hopes her efforts help to achieve the R100 000 target.

Leilani explained, “I plan to walk 27km a day for 27 days in defiance of systemic violence against women and in celebration of our collective survival. I will be wearing yellow, the colour the perpetrator wore when he attacked my spirit. With my BackaBuddy campaign, I hope to honor young women like Uyinene Mrwetyana, Jesse Hess, Leighandre Jegels, Lynette Volschenk and Meghan Cremer who lost their lives due to senseless acts of violence.”

BackaBuddy Marketing and Public Relations Officer Zane Groenewald emphasised that the organisation fully supports Leilani’s noble initiative.

To contribute towards Leilani’s campaign, you can click here or Zane can be contacted via email -zane@backabuddy.co.za.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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