French award for South African human rights lawyer
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French award for South African human rights lawyer

South African human rights lawyer Bonita Meyersfeld will be honoured by France for her work in the field of gender-based violence.

Lawyers against Abuse

Meyersfeld will be appointed Knight of the National Order of Merit at the French residence in Pretoria on Tuesday.


The award, which is bestowed by French President Emmanuel Macron for distinguished achievements, is in recognition of the more than 20 years of work in the field of gender-based violence by Meyersfeld.

The executive director of Lawyers against Abuse, Lindsay Henson, says the award recognises Meyersfeld’s role in establishing the non-profit organisation, which is based Diepsloot.

“LvA provides a cutting edge and unique service to victims of gender-based violence, integrating legal and psychosocial services to ensure that we travel the journey to justice and recovery with our clients. At the same time, LvA works in close partnership with state actors to address systemic gaps and challenges to strengthen the overall response of the justice system.”

The organisation has provided legal and psychological support to over 850 victims, including assisting clients with protection orders, supporting clients pursuing criminal cases, and providing over 1,000 therapy sessions to clients.

“This award is a testimony to the thousands of heroes who survive gender-based violence, to the powerful women who founded the LvA and to the women in our centre who work every day to make LvA the sanctuary and place of justice it is today.”


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