Domestic violence and violence/crimes against women and children represent some of the highest incidents of reported crime in South Africa.
At the domestic watch meeting held on 14 July at NG church Verwoedpark, domestic staff were educated about the magnitude of this social problem and awareness was raised to help empower the community to look for tell-tale signs of domestic violence/crime against women and children. It also covered how best to report this type of crime.
According to Linda Goodenough, Community Development Manager for Fidelity ADT she felt the day was a success and ended on a positive note with the ladies learning to make flowers by using egg trays. “Even though we needed to address issues around violence it was great to be able to relax with the ladies who are always keen to learn a new skill. Everyone had such fun making the flowers.”
Goodenough provides the following valuable insights:
What did we learn about abuse?
- We need to recognise when we are being abused. It is easy to think that how we are being treated is normal. Fear and anger are two main feelings that can help you recognise personal abuse.
- Abuse breaks up families, and children are often hugely affected. They can even grow up thinking that abuse is normal.
- Abuse has no boundaries – it happens at home, at school, in families, between loved ones and in the workplace.
- Early intervention is critical, but it is never too late to seek help.
- Sexual abuse in marriage (marital rape) is also a form of abuse.
- Abuse has a ripple effect and impacts society.
- Abuse effects your self-esteem, behaviour and confidence.
- Abuse can lead to substance abuse.
- There are different types of abuse such as emotional, work, and physical
How can we take action?
- If someone talks to you about the way they feel, i.e being abused, they probably are. Don’t think you have to deal with the problem personally. Rather Contact your security provider or SAPS directly. Phone 10111 or your nearest police station.
- Get the necessary help from the right departments. An organisation like Childline can help with any abuse against children. Take action – we need to empower and educate and give out more information on abuse.
- Most importantly, break the silence and stigma around abuse.
- Parents, play an active role in your children’s lives.
- Know what to do and how to do it.
- If you are a victim, talk to anybody who is willing to listen.
- Adopt a zero tolerance approach to abuse.
- Listen if someone wants you to listen.
- Use social platforms such as support groups for advice and help.
- Raise awareness at corporate companies, schools, newspaper and churches.
“At the end of the day the strongest message we all agreed upon was that we cannot accept that any form of abuse is normal. We need to speak out and never be ashamed. Know what to do or make it your priority to find out what to do. It is never too late,” concludes Goodenough.
Next lesson: Sunday 2nd August – 14h00 NG Church, Glen Dive, Verwoedpark, Alberton. Topic – “How to manage a crime scene”. All welcome
Alberton Police Station is 011 861 6800
Brackendowns Police Station is 011 861 617 5600