Social Development Dept, Mangaung dist. office holds an awareness campaign on GBVF

South Africa: On 09 December 2022, the Department of Social Development, Mangaung District Office, through its Children Unit, hosted an awareness session at Caleb Motshabi, Bloemfontein.

South Africa: On 09 December 2022, the Department of Social Development, Mangaung District Office, through its Children Unit, hosted an awareness session at Caleb Motshabi, Bloemfontein.

The purpose of the engagement was to share information on the services available to the community members of Caleb Motshabi and South Africans as a whole. This initiative is part of the commemoration of 16 Days of Activism of no violence against women and children.

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Stakeholders from SAPS, the Department of Health, the Tshepong Victim Empowerment and Support Centre and the Thuthuzela Centre were present. The key messages for the day were about gender-based violence, its impact and effects on an individual and the ripple effect it has on the community.

Ms Mamiki Kheswa, who is a Social Worker at Tshepong VEP Centre, outlined the services they render, which include cases of domestic violence, mediating between families, disputes between neighbours, etc. Kheswa also shared information on the Victim Empowerment Programme at Thuthuzela Care Centre, where they mostly focus on victims of sexual and physical abuse.


 

 


According to Ms Kheswa, there were 296 rape cases reported in the last quarter of 2022 in Bloemfontein, and of that number, 108 cases are from Caleb Motshabi, making it a hot spot of sexual abuse and GBV.

Sister Ramahlele, a nurse based at Tshepong, urged all members of Caleb Motshabi to report sexual abuse at the nearest police station or at the Thuthuzela Care Centre within 72 hours of the incident. This will enable the nurses to collect the DNA of the perpetrator for evidence. Victims can also report an incident of sexual abuse, even if it occurred months or years after the incident.

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Sergeant Moqwathi from SAPS encouraged the community members of Caleb Motshabi to join the Crime Prevention Forum (CPF), as it is a platform where the members come up with plans and solutions on how to help curb crime within the area. The CPF also conducts regular door-to-door campaigns where they check if pensioners are safe and whether they have grievances to report or not.

In closing, the social worker of that area, Mme Refilwe Mabena, encouraged members to report abuse even if it doesn’t affect them directly and that they can also report it anonymously.

She pleaded with women to empower themselves and that even if they are unemployed, they should take the initiative and try to be productive in whatever endeavours or skills they have.