Parkside community embraces GBV intervention
The topic of gender-based violence took centre stage in Parkside, East London, on Friday as frank discussions between the community and non-profit Behired Grooming Projects hoped to find ways to combat domestic violence.
The meeting aimed to identify challenges and put measures in place to bring about changes in society.
Behired Grooming Projects co-founder Egee Matondo said: “We want to raise the profile of male involvement in prevention of the violence against women and children.
We want to explore how co-ordination mechanism levels can be strengthened, and advocate for upscaling and sustainability of programme interventions
“We want to explore how co-ordination mechanism levels can be strengthened, and advocate for upscaling and sustainability of programme interventions.”
Friday’s dialogue was the first community intervention by the organisation and it hopes to hold similar programmes in other Buffalo City communities affected by gender-based violence.
“We are planning on visiting Second Creek, Parkridge and Duncan Village. We will be hosting a roundtable on societal ills next month,” Matondo said.
The Behired PR and marketing officer described domestic violence as a pandemic affecting many South Africans.
“We invited Parkside community members to let them know that there is solution to this problem,” she said.
Ward 6 councillor Peter Kiki urging urged in the community to take a stand.
We, as men, need to protect our women and children instead of killing and abusing them. Just because we are stronger than them [women], that doesn’t mean we have the right to abuse them
“We, as men, need to protect our women and children instead of killing and abusing them.
“Just because we are stronger than them [women], that doesn’t mean we have the right to abuse them,” Kiki said.
Kiki is planning to partner with Behired to identify households where gender-based violence seemed to be an issue.
Abuse survivor Carla Schultz thanked the organisation for presenting her with an opportunity to help uplift those who were victims.
“Thank you so much for the people at Behired for helping the community by giving them hope.
“Thank you for this opportunity to empower other women and men and children who face violence on a daily basis.
“It’s wrong, and we need to fight back and stand up against rape, abuse and killing,” she said.
“I urge those who are victims and survivors to seek counselling that is offered by Behired.
“They are there to help and support those who are in need,” Schultz said.
She shared her own story with the community.
“I was married for seven years and throughout those years I endured mental abuse. It was in 2017 where it became physical.
“My husband used to hit me on my head because he would say that’s the perfect place to hide bruises,” she said.
Her divorce was finalised in 2019.
“I decided to leave him and stayed at a safe house, Masimanyane Women’s Support Centre, where I also decided to go back to school and put my life and my children’s lives back together again.”
Schultz is also a rape survivor. She said her mother’s boyfriend had sexually abused her for a year when she was 12 years old.
“It was my friend who saved me by telling my mother about what was happening. He [the boyfriend] was arrested and imprisoned.
“I discovered recently on Facebook that he was released.
“That triggered a lot of anger within, because he doesn’t deserve to be free.”
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