We are ONE VOICE united against gender-based violence
What is the #ONEVOICE United Against Gender-Based Violence campaign?
The Western Cape Department of Social Development has launched its 365 Days of Activism campaign, under the banner #ONEVOICE United Against Gender-Based Violence. The purpose of the campaign is to share the stories of survivors of gender-based violence who have used our services, so that those suffering abuse may be encouraged to also use their voice, make the call, and find help.
These real life stories, as told by Ms Namisa Mdlalose, illustrate the importance and impact of using breaking the silence and getting help.
Why is the campaign important?
Gender-based violence (GBV) is a global phenomenon, and in South Africa as indicated by the newly launched National Strategic Plan on GBV and Femicide, those mostly affected by GBV are women, girls and LGBTIQA+ community. As we experience the Covid-19 pandemic, we have also seen an increase in the number of gender-based violence cases.
Stats SA has reported that the incidents of femicide is five times higher in South Africa (SA) than the global average, indicating that women in SA are five times more likely to be killed in GBV incidents, committed by men.
The objective of the GBV Campaign is to provide members of society with information on the various services offered by the Department and how to access these and other services facing not only survivors of GBV, but also other forms of crime and violence.
What is abuse?
Abuse is when someone intentionally harms or injures another person. There are many kinds of abuse encountered by adults, including:
- physical abuse
- psychological abuse
- sexual assault
- verbal abuse
- elder abuse
- financial abuse
- spiritual abuse
- emotional abuse
What is the Department's Victim Empowerment Programme?
The Victim Empowerment Programme (VEP) aims to support victims and survivors of crime and violence, including Gender-Based Violence, as well as their families, to deal with the impact of the incident, which they have experienced.
Who can get help?
Anyone who who has suffered physical, mental or emotional harm, including economic loss or substantial impairment of their fundamental rights, through crime or violence.
The Department of Social Development’s Victim Empowerment Programme, supported by funded NGOs in the Western Cape, offers a variety of services which include:
- emotional and practical support,
- management of trauma,
- identification of the symptoms of post-traumatic stress,
- referrals to professional services where necessary,
- provision of court support services during the criminal justice process,
- promoting the rights and responsibilities of clients through advocacy,
- ensuring that clients are aware of their rights,
- preventing ongoing victimisation and provision of a shelter service.
A shelter is a place where victims of crime and violence are able to live for a period of one day up to approximately 3 months depending on the needs of the victims.
The shelter assists with meeting basic needs such as:
- providing a safe place to live,
- providing protection, food and clothing,
- providing emotional support services such as trauma debriefing and therapeutic counselling,
- providing information on developing skills, victim’s rights and capacity building,
- support in preparation for court procedures,
- programmes focused on alleged perpetrators and gender-based violence prevention programmes.
A shelter for victims of crime and violence does not provide statutory services to children, therefore shelters cannot accommodate children without their parents/ legal guardians.
Where to go for Help?
- Gender-Based Violence Command Centre: Call 0800 428 428 or dial *120*7867#
- National Shelter Movement (24 hour line): 0800 001 005
- Police: 10111
- The Human Trafficking Resource Line: 0800 222 777
- Department of Social Development Toll Free line: 0800 220 250
- Department of Social Development Email: GBV365DAYS@westerncape.gov.za / SD.CustomerCare@westerncape.gov.za
- SASSA 0800 60 10 11
- #ONEVOICE Poster
- #ONEVOICE Flyer
- Gender-Based Violence Frequently Asked Questions
- Victim Empowerment Programme Brochure (English/ Afrikaans)
- Victim Empowerment Programme Brochure (English/ IsiXhosa)
- Shelters available in the Western Cape
- Western Cape Directory of Service to Victims of Crime and Violence
- Department of Social Development Regional Offices
- South African Police Stations