G Route Health offers help for survivors of abuse
Sunday 25 November marked the start of the worldwide 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children.
Dr Normafrench Mbombo, minister of health, said, “Genderbased violence has reached crisis levels, and failing to address this will mean that many more people will suffer the consequences. As we approach the start of the 16 Days of Activism campaign, we will continue to stand up and fight for women who suffer at the hands of an abuser.” Violence against women and children can take on many forms. One of these is rape.
The Western Cape department of health and other non-governmental organisations offer free services to rape and sexual assault survivors.
Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCC), such as the one at George Hospital, are one-stop facilities that have been introduced as a critical part of South Africa’s anti-rape strategy. “It is traumatic enough having to go through the ordeal of rape or sexual assault,” said Mbombo.
“Through the Thuthuzela centres we are trying to make this process more bearable. These services allow for victims to be treated confidentially and in an environment where they are safe.”
Thuthuzela centres provide specialised victim support services intended to reduce the secondary trauma of assault.
Report woman and child abuse at the following organisations:
Stop Gender Violence helpline: 0800 150 150;
Report neglect or abuse of a child: 0861 4 CHILD (24453);
SAPS: 08600 10111 or Childline: 0800 055 555;
Report any abuse of children and women to the Department of Social Development on 0800 220 250;
LifeLine 24-hour counselling helpline: 021 461 1111;
Phambili Refuge: 044 875 1551. This is a shelter for abused women and their children in George;
Find out more about safety services for women and children by sending an SMS with the word INFO to 35395.
Health staff show their support during a march in support of 16 Days of Activism in George on Monday. From left are Loretta Roelfse, Unit Appels, Angelique Vezasie, Melanie Marthinus and Mollie Albrecht.