VAAL TRIANGLE - The National Shelter Movement of South Africa (NSMSA) says a 24-hour hotline for Vaal Triangle and other SA gender-based violence (GBV) survivors goes live next Tuesday. The toll-free hotline, which goes live on 2 December, will help survivors get to their nearest shelter. The movement’s Bernadine Bachar said that it was high time that abused women had a toll-free resource where they could find various services. She said the helpline had been a long time coming, saying that the lockdown had shone the spotlight on why it is necessary. Bachar said it was highlighted during the lockdown that not many women knew where to access a place of safety or which services were available to them. Bachar the 24/7 hotline would change this and would help them get information about having procuring protection orders, or (how to lay) charges at police stations. She added the hotline would be able to offer those support services that GBV survivors actually need in order to escape the abusive situation. According to Bachar, their goal is to ensure that every call from a woman in danger must be answered. She said while the government has provided a GBV helpline of its own, this is not specific to domestic or intimate partner violence.
This comes as Government officially launched the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign at a Pretoria media briefing today. Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, says everybody needs to do everything possible to prevent violence against women and children.