Educating residents about domestic violence

Residents who participated in the series last week.

Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha residents had a keen interest and actively participated in the Maintenance and Domestic Violence legal session hosted by ENSafrica pro bono office in Eastridge on Wednesday February 8.

More than 30 people attended the session, which was facilitated by Natasha Wagiet from ENSafrica. This was the first series of the year with many to follow every two weeks.

The session covered maintenance for spouses and children.

Ms Wagiet spoke about the steps to follow when claiming maintenance and what is needed.

She also explained the different types of domestic violence, what a protection order is and how to apply for one

Nadia Gasiep from Westridge said the ENSAfrica series sessions are interesting and she always walks away having learnt something.

Ms Gasiep, who is a community worker, said domestic violence is rife in the Mitchell’s Plain community, and should be spoken about. “Our women and children are being abused and that is unacceptable. Therefore, it is important for our mothers and young women to be informed about their rights in order for them to stand up for themselves. The cycle of abuse has to stop, it is breaking down our community,” she said.

Caroline Reeves from Eastridge often attends the ENSAfrica sessions. “It’s important to educate and empower yourself, knowledge is power. These topics are relevant and topical and as you can see, people have an interest in it. I would like to thank the firm for assisting and having these sessions for residents,” she said.

Bongiwe Bhoki from Harare said it is important to learn about issues that affect our community, such as domestic violence. “We need to know what our rights are in order to protect ourselves but at the same time respect others. These issues are relevant in our communities and people should be made aware of their rights,” she said.

Ms Wagiet said the sessions vary and are interactive. “We had a full house this week and you could see that people were captivated and engaged with me. They had lots of questions and some even spoke about their personal experiences. In our sessions we have a presentation, hand-outs and after the two hours, tea and coffee,” she said.

There will be a two hour session on Intellectual Property and Your Business on Thursday February 23, at 10am, at the ENSafrica Pro Bono Office at 1 Naboom Street in Eastridge. The presenter will be Waldo Steyn from ENSafrica.

There will be a two-hour session Domestic Violence and Harassment on Wednesday March 1, at 11am, at 3rd Floor in the Isivivana Centre at 8 Mzala Street in Khayelitsha. The presenter will be Ms Wagiet.

Call 021 397 4241 for more information.