’Break the silence on gender-based violence’

New Creations Outreach non-profit organisation started their 16 Days of Activism walk on Thursday November 26. They walked with their group, with banners of messages against gender-based violence.

New Creations Outreach took to the streets of Mitchell’s Plain to urge people to break the silence on gender-based violence.

The non-profit organisation started its 16 Days of Activism walk on Thursday November 26, the day after the annual global 16 Days of Activism for No Violence on Women and Children, started. It finishes on Friday December 10.

The group, carrying banners with messages against gender-based violence, stopped at Mitchell’s Plain police station, Mitchell’s Plain Community Health Centre, The Family, Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Unit, Department of Social Development and the Town Centre CBD.

The campaign during the 16 Days of Activism is called #savemyneighbour said founder of New Creations Outreach, Alvina Spike, in front right with placard.

Their campaign is called #savemyneighbour said founder of New Creations Outreach, Alvina Spike.

“People have normalised turning a blind eye. It is time we stand up, break the silence, speak up and speak out about these issues. For too long have we been quiet. Justice can then take its course once this happens. People should continue to speak out when a crime of gender-based violence is committed,” said Ms Spike.

New Creations Outreach and the group walking to the FCS Unit in Eastridge, business hub with their banners on messages to break the silence on gender-based violence.

They’ve also been speaking out about this issue on their Facebook page, calling on any other organisations who want to connect with their campaign, to join them.

From left are the Merino Block Watch Safety Structure members Ryan Marino, Brandon Fortuin, Lucian Scott and Captain Ian Williams from Mitchell’s Plain SAPS.

Mitchell’s Plain SAPS spokesperson Captain Ian Williams said it was a priority for SAPS to advocate against woman and child abuse. “Domestic violence remains one of the highest crimes in our communities. We will continue to do what we can to stop this,” he said.

Lieutenant Colonel Daliwonga Saki said residents could come to them for advice. “This is a friendly office in our policing areas. Our priority is to service our people,” said Lieutenant Colonel Saki.

Lieutenant Colonel Daliwonga Saki in his uniform in front said residents can enquire about cases and sexual abuse. “This is a friendly office in our policing areas. Our priority is to service our people,” said Lieutenant Colonel Saki.

Advocate Lisle Nel from the National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa, said all victims of gender-based violence could access the Thuthuzela facilities which provide various services to victims of sexual abuse, domestic violence and child abuse.

She said they also provide medical services as well as psycho-social services alongside the Department of Social Development.

“It is an integrated approach and includes NGOs and civil society as the Department of Social Development provides funding to these NGOs which deliver relevant services,” she said.

“The efforts are not only to assist the victims of gender-based violence but also to have the victims become survivors.”

Mitchell’s Plain Network Opposing Abuse member Amina Coetzee spoke to residents at the Mitchell’s Plain Community Health Centre during the march about speaking out about gender-based violence.

Mitchell’s Plain Network Opposing Abuse member Amina Coetzee spoke to residents at the Mitchell’s Plain Community Health Centre during the march about speaking out about gender-based violence.

Ms Coetzee said they assist victims of abuse by guiding them to complete their protection order, and educating them on their human rights.

“We want them to break the silence attached to the stigma and discrimination and to assist them in knowing there is help and no excuse for abuse,” said Ms Coetzee.

Their office is based at the Beaconvale Frail Care Community Centre.

Ms Coetzee, a lay counsellor, said: “Our people don’t know the resources available. I’ve dealt with horrific cases, and I deal with it regularly. The abuse may start with you but it should end with you. I can advise you and I can educate you but you need to decide when enough is enough.”

Stacey Thomas, social worker for the Department of Social Development said it was a great opportunity to collaborate with New Creations Outreach and all those a part of the walk.

“There are many services available and interlinked. The work we have to continually do together. The engagement with residents was amazing. We are grateful to have New Creations Outreach lead such an event,” said Ms Thomas.

Producer and photographer Pete Barlow said: “What is apparent to me is that we need more men behind movements against gender-based violence. Not just men to stand alongside women, but men to be vocal. Boys look to men as role models, often mimicking their behaviour and values. Let us not only denounce gender-based violence, but applaud the men in our communities that respect their wives, their daughters and their mothers so that they may become emphatic role models to young boys.”

All cases of gender-based violence can be reported at your nearest police station including the FCS Unit, local magistrates offices, prosecutors the Department of Social Development or call the Child Line 08000 55555 or visit the local Thuthuzela Care Centre to assist victims, said Captain Williams.

For more information on New Creations Outreach email them at alvina@newcreationsoutreach.org.za or call 067 158 0807.