Minister Fritz Commends Conquerors of GBV
As we commemorate International Women’s Day, I would like to commend the many brave women who were once victims of gender-based violence (GBV) and abuse but who today are conquerors, standing on their own feet.
One of these conquerors is NoLindi (alias). NoLindi grew up in rural Eastern Cape. When she moved to Cape Town, she stayed with her partner, a man from her village and they later had a child together.
When she was 33 years old, she visited Community Cohesion, a DSD funded NPO which provides psycho-social support. Her partner had been physically and emotionally abusing her. He justified his actions by saying that she had become too modernised and no longer adhered to their cultural norms.
She and her partner were referred to Community Cohesion by the SAPS after a domestic violence call out. She did not lay charges nor did she apply for a protection order. Instead, the couple opted for counselling.
NoLindi then sent her two year old to live with relatives in Khayelitsha whilst the couple worked on their relationship.
Her partner attended only one session, but she continued with a further four sessions. Here, NoLindi built her self-esteem, resilience and was made aware of her rights.
After missing her fifth appointment, NoLindi explained that she had moved to Wynberg as the violence had resumed and she was ashamed.
However, she shortly returned for more counselling sessions which focussed on the cycles of violence. After a further three sessions, NoLindi moved out of her abuser’s home permanently.
Today, NoLindi is conqueror of GBV. She stays with her child and extended family in Khayelitsha. She has a parenting plan in place, has set her boundaries and is putting herself first. She has a position as a front of house staffer at a large real estate agency where she can grow and develop. She continues to receive the psycho-social support that she requires and has conquered the cycle of abuse which she was previously subjected to.
I call on any person experiencing abuse or who knows of women being abused to immediately seek out help. You are not alone. You can reach out to any of our DSD funded NGOs, shelters or local offices for support. You can also report abuse to the SAPS directly. We are here to help you become a conqueror too.
The Western Cape DSD currently funds and supports 16 shelters that provide safe accommodation, therapeutic services and skills development for up to 3 months, and an additional 4 emergency shelters that provide safe accommodation for up to 7 days.
Under my leadership, the Western Cape Department of Social Development will continue to care for and empower victims of GBV to become conquerors.