Victim Empowerment

This program comprises of two main projects namely gender based violence and the Indibano Men’s dialogue. It is in line with MDG number 3 “Promote Gender equality and empower women”. The main purpose of these two projects is to instil hope, courage, dignity and human worth to victims. They also seek to turn victims into survivors.

 

The Gender based violence project was established after actively engaging the community using the Paulo Freire’s conscientization strategies spearheaded by the social workers at Vanderbijlpark Trauma Centre. The results from this engagement revealed gender based violence as the most critical and topical issue of the day and they also highlighted how they are being put to risk of HIV infection and being crippled from the physical abuse that they are suffering from gender based violence .  To verify these findings, the said social workers approached the local police station and interviewed the Warrant Officer / Sector Manager for Crime Prevention and he revealed shocking statistics of gender based violence related cases in the area. He stated that gender based violence particularly Domestic Violence was rampant and an urgent intervention was highly welcome. It was just humanly right to introduce this project to curb this phenomenon which was hampering development at many levels. The project employs the “door to door” awareness campaign utilising frontline workers who will be educating the community members on the pieces of legislations that protect them in the event of being violated such as the Protection Order, Sexual Offences and other Related Crimes Act and the Domestic Violence Act. The door to door outreach is also intended to identify victims of gender based violence and offer them education on what steps they can take to get assistance as there exists the culture of silence. The Frontline workers also explain the importance of marriage counselling to preserve the institution.

 

 

The twin project , Indibano Men’ Dialogue came to being  after the realisation that men were not free to talk and express their views on issues that affect them such as  gender based violence, sexuality , power imbalances and secondary victimisation which inhibited them to report cases or to seek help. It was a reaction project to address the imbalances of male participation in the community. This project identifies barriers that block men from seeking help and makes an effort to engage the service providers to create conducive environments that enable men to feel free to participate. This project offers a male friendly platform for men to air their feelings and views thus breaking the traditional stereotypes of men being “strong and invincible”. The Vanderbijlpark Trauma Centre facilitates focus group discussions to identify loop holes in the service delivery systems that give limitations to men at various settings such as the taverns, industrial sites, taxi drivers and the youth in college and high schools. Workshops and trainings on how men can participate at personal and community levels are also conducted with relevant stakeholders present.