Gender violence in the Spotlight

Saartjie Baartman Centre kick-starts campaign to help protect women and children

The Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children (SBCWC) in Manenberg has launched a campaign initiative to help raise awareness and funds for legal and counselling support for survivors of abuse.

The SBCWC says the number of gender-based violence cases reported in Western Cape this year is a drop in the ocean compared to the reality of woman abuse in the province.

Centre Director Shaheema McLeod explains that many women do not report the violent crimes that they have been subject to and do not have access to legal or counselling services, especially on the Cape Flats.

McLeod says that greater education is needed in communities to raise awareness about gender violence and abuse.

The SBCWC launched a campaign, titled "Help Change Her Story", on Thursday and is one of the many non-profit organisations struggling to keep its doors open to help those in need.

So many don't even know that there are social workers and agencies such as ours out there that can offer them assistance and get justice.

Shaheema McLeod, Director at the Saartjie Baartman Centre

The SBCWC helps women and children who are survivors of abuse and has been operational for 18 years, assisting close to 200 000 women.

McLeod explains that there are very few organisations that have sufficient funding to support survivors of abuse.

The [situation] has been really dire for the NGO sector.

Shaheema McLeod, Director at the Saartjie Baartman Centre

The SBCWC has urged people to educate themselves and contribute to the conversations and interventions linked to gender-based violence.

Learn more about Change Her Story campaign here or follow the links in the tweets below:

Take a listen:

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