Today marks the beginning of 16 Days of Activism, and this period highlights the violence women and children are often subjected to in South Africa. Between November 25 and December 10, national government will use this period to conduct dialogue sessions with community members across the country, especially those who have been made victims of violence and abuse.
The country rose up and banded together during the #aminext marches, where crowds of supporters donned black to draw attention to the dire situations women and children are often found in. The movement was spurned by the brutal rape and murder of many young women in a short span of time – including Uyinene Mrwetyana, Leandre Jegels, and Jesse Hess.
Victims of sexual violence and other forms of traumatic abuse need all the assistance they can get. Here is a list of organisations and services that offer their help in Cape Town:
This organisation helps a multitude of women and children every year, and focuses – but is not limited to – victims of rape primarily. They are based in the suburb of Observatory, Athlone and Khayelitsha.
They offer comprehensive counselling services over the phone, via 24/7 helplines. The numbers for each office are as follows:
Observatory: 021 447-9762
Khayelitsha: 021 361-9085
Athlone: 021 633-9229
Email: [email protected]
If you know anyone who is a victim of rape, pay a visit to the Rape Crisis site for tips on how to be supportive and assist in reporting the incident here.
Sonke Gender Justice
Sonke is one of the Western Cape’s most established aid organisations, and works with other agencies to better help those who need it. They work with women’s rights organisations, social movements, trade unions, government departments and human rights advocates to put victims in touch with those who can help them best.
In addition, Sonke is committed to ensuring that programmes are informed by the perspectives and priorities of those working to advance the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersexual communities, people living with HIV and AIDS, and refugees and migrants. Women, sexual minorities, young people, refugees, migrants and other relevant stakeholders are represented in Sonke’s governance structures.
Visit their site here.
Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children
The Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children (SBCWC ) is a one-stop centre for women and children who are survivors of abuse. Their vision is the creation of a safe and secure society and a human rights culture where women and children are empowered to exercise their full rights.
Their services include:
– A 24-hour emergency shelter (safe accommodation)
– Short and medium-term residential care
– childcare services
– counselling, metal health support, legal and economic empowerment services
– children’s counselling
– research in gender-based violence
– job skills training
– legal advice
Gender DynamiX (GDX) is the first registered Africa-based public benefit organisation to focus solely on trans and gender diverse communities.
GDX has since become an institutionalised non-profit organisation (NPO) that is fundamental to the development of the trans and gender diverse movements in South Africa and across southern Africa.
“Due to the dominance of cisnormativity and heteronormativity in the context of conservative legal-political systems and often adverse socio-economic circumstances in southern Africa, we have found that trans and gender diverse persons:
– Fear expressing who we are;
– Are deprived of legal and societal recognition;
– Are not affirmingly recognised in government policies to support gender diversity;
– Are marginalised and excluded from accessing resources, services and opportunities such as healthcare, education, legal assistance, employment, social services, etc.;
– Face societal ignorance, intolerance, stigma and discrimination;
– Experience gross human rights violations; and
– Are sometimes negatively portrayed by insensitive media outlets.”
GDX can be contacted here.
Mosaic offers a holistic and integrated support and healing service to survivors of domestic violence and abuse, their children and partners. Their model of support and healing is aimed at empowering survivors to take charge of their own lives and become active, positive and thriving members of society who are capable of reaching their full potential.
“The organisational logo is symbolic of our mission to train, heal and support women whose lives have been broken by abuse and violence. Our logo is made up of small, broken pieces that are put together to build a beautiful MOSAIC,” the organisation said. “We have a clinic centre where clients may access Sexual Reproductive Health services in a private, safe, and confidential space in order to learn more about a sexual relationship free of violence and coercion, have access to unbiased information about their reproductive health in order to make informed choices and be treated in a dignified and confidential manner when seeking reproductive advice.”
To see what Mosaic offers, click here
The Trauma Centre
The Trauma Centre is a non- governmental organisation established nearly twenty years ago to support South Africa in becoming a non-violent society with a respect for human rights. Survivors of social crime, political violence, torture and other cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment are able to access psychosocial services that are appropriate and relevant to their needs.
The centre helps all victims of abuse, including women who have been abused by their partners.
The Trauma Centre’s site can be accessed here
Gender-Based Violence Command Centre
The Gender-Based Violence Command Centre (GBVCC) operates under The Department of Social Development. The Centre operates a National, 24-hour, seven-days-a-week Call Centre facility.
The programme is committed to intensify and accelerate efforts to achieve the elimination of all forms of violence against women and children.
“The South African Government is committed to investigating the root and underlying causes of Gender Based Violence, and has already developed a national action plan that will ensure a stronger, collaborative and more focused response to violence against women and children,” the programme says.
Any case of abuse or rape can be reported directly to the site by clicking here
Shukumisa has formed a coalition that makes it easier for victims of rape and abuse to get in touch with those who can assist them with their needs, no matter what the said need is. This includes medical service, help from lawyers and advocates, or counselling services.
Some of its partners include Sonke Gender Justice, the Child Witness Network, and the Triangle Project.
to access the Shukumisa site.