A Gauteng advocacy group against abuse said they found a “home” with the Mitchell’s Plain Network Opposing Abuse as they worked together to “push” back against the stigma carried by women and children who have been raped, abused and assaulted.
At the Network’s annual white day of prayer at the Wolfgat Nature Reserve last Thursday, Sihle Sibisi, founder of the Kwanele Foundation, a non-profit organisation, said: “Our pain has become the gain of many people”.
She explained that as a victim of abuse, she like many others, had started organisations, hosted programmes and had told their stories, which other people had heard and been inspired to speak out and seek help.
The commemoration coincides with the annual 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children Campaign, which runs from November 25 to December 10, and brings to mind all the men, women and children who have died as a result of, or been hurt by abuse or violence.
The programme included various songs of praise, from different religions and cultural groupings.
Guest speaker Alvina Spike, who had been raped, abused and addicted to drugs, spoke about her past and praised God for blessing her life.
Ms Spike is the founder of New Creations Outreach, a non-profit organisation, launched in 2018, that works with victims of gender-based violence.
She encouraged participants to “push” through difficult situations.
“I will push through my circumstances. I will push away judgement and help whom I can,” she said.
Ms Spike said she had knocked on many doors, when she was down and out.
“Let us be honest and say that we chase those in need away,” she said.
The Network and the National Institute Community Development and Management (NICDAM) hosted the programme to invite victims, survivors and family members, who had lost loved ones due to violent crime and fatal diseases to access their services.
The network’s services include trauma, bereavement, loss and grief counselling; a domestic support group; crime prevention; and awareness and advocacy programmes against domestic violence, and violent crimes related to substance abuse.
Daren Joubert, from Lentegeur, an intern at the Network, based in Beacon Valley, said that it was important to stand with victims of violence and abuse.
The Network has an office at Mitchell’s Plain Magistrate’s Court and at Beaconvale Community Frail Care Centre, on the corner of Rambler and Pontiac streets in Beacon Valley. For more information call Techiah September on 021 376 0445.