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Foundation creates awareness on sexual assault

The Jes Foord Foundation has embarked on various awareness programmes this Sexual Assault Awareness Month and shares about what services they provide and what to do if you or a loved one is a victim of sexual assault.

APRIL is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). This is a time for advocates, survivors, their loved ones and the community to come together to talk openly about sexual violence to support survivors, increase knowledge and awareness and identify strategies and resources to prevent sexual violence.

The Jes Foord Foundation (JFF) is doing exactly that as it has a list of awareness programmes planned for the future and ongoing ones, too.

Jes Foord’s life changed after a horrific ordeal where she was gang-raped by four men 16 years ago.

Choosing not to be another rape victim but rather a survivor, she learnt to become a spokesperson campaigning on behalf of women and children who had gone through similar harrowing experiences.

Also read: Jes Foord Foundation open for free trauma counselling

This year, one of those rapists will be released from prison back into society.

The news, Foord said, has not dampened her and the foundation’s spirits, but they are using this as fuel to light the passion in those around them.

In January, the foundation began with a march against gender-based violence, and Foord spoke of her dream and the desperate need for a rape crisis centre.

Recently, the foundation hosted a high tea. This tea was used to educate women on the extreme lengths that have to be taken after sexual abuse.

 

The foundation recently hosted a successful high tea to raise awareness about sexual assault.

Also read: Queensburgh man arrested for alleged sexual assault of 5-year-old girl

Durban Caxton Local Media spoke to the foundation as to what people need to do in a case of sexual assault and explained the programmes they are currently involved in. They provided the following advice should you or someone you loved one become a victim of a sexual assault:

– Do not shower, have a bath, go to the toilet or drink or eat anything.
– Remove your clothing if possible and put it into a paper bag or newspaper with anything on the scene that could contain any DNA evidence – plastic destroys evidence and fabric will contaminate evidence. Take a spare pair of underwear as any evidence that comes out will need to stay behind to be investigated.
– Contact the Jes Foord Foundation on 066 440 3604 via WhatsApp and they will send an escort to take you to the nearest Thuthuzela Centre. (For Upper Highway, that is RK Khan or Edendale.)
– Once there, you will be examined and given your PrEP as well as STI-prevention medication and the morning-after pill. Your statement will be taken by a police officer, and you will be given a Jes Foord Foundation comfort pack.
– Once that process is complete, you will be able to go home and shower.

The JFF offers free counselling to any victims of sexual assault. Foord said there are four Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCC) in KZN for which the foundation provides rape comfort kits for adults and children.
RK Khan is the busiest centre and is currently servicing the Upper Highway, Durban and right up to Amanzimtoti.

Due to the foundation relying solely on donations, the foundation produces 400 bags a month.

“This is huge, however, it is not even close to enough. Seeing the demand, we aim to add a further three TCCs – Scottburgh, Eshowe and Port Shepstone – which means producing more bags. This can only be done with the help and support of the community that these areas serve.”

The foundation is also hosting ‘awareness talks’. This is an ongoing initiative of the Jes Foord Foundation which is designed to keep children safe by making them aware of the dangers in our society.

“Our talks are awareness-based and focused around consent and educating young learners that they can use their voices as a tool of self-defence. They teach them about ‘good touch versus bad touch’, ‘no means no’, and set the record straight on ‘stranger danger’.

 

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