IN a bid to curb violence against women, a toll-free phone service for abused women to report such cases has been launched.
Members of the newly formed Prevention in Action organisation gathered outside the domestic violence court in Wentworth yesterday.
Said the organisation’s spokesperson, Sally Mills, “Sharing important information with the community on how they can work together to curb women abuse, the intervention also included raising awareness of the only toll-free service dedicated to assisting those affected by gender-based violence — the Stop Gender Violence Helpline.”
Wendy Augustine of Wentworth Victim Friendly Centre and Prevention in Action said the court is always crowded by people who have come to attend domestic violence cases.
“There are always crowds of people waiting outside the domestic violence court as the problem of violence against women remains unresolved.
“As a Prevention in Action member I felt I had to take action,” she says.
During the gathering, Prevention in Action interacted with victims, their friends, family members and even with perpetrators who have come to stand trial.
Said Cookie Edwards, director of the KwaZulu-Natal Network on Violence against Women, “Promoting the toll-free Stop Gender Violence Helpline is also an important action as it can be the first step to preventing violence against women and it is essential that the public be aware of this service.”
“The helpline is available to anybody wanting to discuss concerns about domestic or sexual abuse and provides not only telephone counselling, but a referral programme too — putting individuals in touch with specialised support centres in their communities,” said Edwards.
The Victim Friendly Centre offers counselling and emotional support to victims of violence, rape and drug and alcohol abuse.
The toll-free number is 0800 150 150.