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BAFDT Community Support Group calls to combat violence and abuse

Through one-on-one and group sessions, BAFDT has become a safe space for those in need of a listening ear, advice, guidance, prayer or support.

“ENOUGH is enough. Treat our women and children with respect.” These are the words of a passionate Audrey Anderson, founder of BAFDT Community Support Group, following the spike in reports of violence and gender based violence across the country.

Audrey has been a source of support for many victims of emotional, verbal and physical abuse in the community of Wentworth. “I feel that a lot of women are being silenced and don’t have the freedom to speak up about the things that they are experiencing behind closed doors because there is a lot of stigma that is attached to abuse. Therefore, you’ll find that a lot of them don’t know how to get out. This is very sad because there is not many structures and support systems in place to for women in our community, so you will find that they choose to stay in abusive relationships. I have also noticed that the younger generation seems to be very involved in abusive relationships,” she said, highlighting that an unhealthy understanding and definition of love is what seems to keep many young women in the cycle of abuse.

“It also goes back to our upbringing. A lot of victims as well as perpetrators are coming from previously disadvantaged backgrounds, dysfunctional households and have had absent fathers. All these factors contribute to abuse because an individual is likely to behave according to how they have been brought up and the environment they grew up in.

If young boys have been taught that it is okay to come home drunk or to hit their sisters, or have witnessed their mother’s being abused, then they will do so as they become adults. And if girls are taught that this is okay, then they will tolerate it.

“We don’t realise the status quo that we are creating and it is quite sad. We’ve got to go back to the drawing board. As a mother, I always say that we need to stop teaching our sons negative behaviours, because one day they will become boyfriends, fathers and husbands. We also need to teach our girls to love themselves and how to build healthy relationships,” said Audrey who has been counselling over the last 10 years, helping many women and families who have been victimised, through her support group.

“One has to be aware of where they are at, emotionally and psychologically, as well as and where they want to go. We also need to change the mindset of identifying ourselves as victims, but instead survivors. Dealing with and overcoming abuse as well as unhealthy relationships is a journey. We need to be patient with ourselves and we mustn’t rush into relationships, in order really to heal,” she said.

Through one-on-one and group sessions, BAFDT has become a safe space for those in need of a listening ear, advice, guidance, prayer or support. Audrey is currently offering her services via Whatsapp and Zoom during the lockdown and welcomes anyone in need to contact her on 081 431 7458 or send her a Whatsapp text on 081-840-9022.



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