Project urges women to speak about abuse

Sergeant Candice Williams, Captain Brian Jacobs, Founder of New Creations Outreach, Alvina Spike, Evangelist Kurt Oliver, Department of Social Development member Jason Williams, counsellor Grace Albanie and Ward 82 councillor Washiela Harris.

A local community organisation launch its a programme in Tafelsig last week to encourage women to break their silence about gender-based violence.

Those involved in the Break My Silence Project, gathered at Tafelsig Community Hall in Kilimanjaro Street, on Thursday August 27 to introduce themselves to the community, said founder of New Creations Outreach, Alvina Spike.

New Creations Outreach is a non-profit organisation, launched in 2018, that works with victims of gender-based violence.

Through the programme, Gracie Albanie offers counselling to abused women and children, at the Tafelsig community hall.

“Many women have a fear of speaking out on their experiences. All those affected by gender-based violence are different, some are willing to speak out and some may not be.

“We are here to help all of them. We need to reach out to those women and help them,” said Ms Albanie.

Jason Williams, a community development worker with the Department of Social Development, said many people remain silent about abuse but “it starts with them to speak out in order to heal again”.

Kurt Oliver, representing Sons of Issachar, a church organisation that does community outreach work, said he was working closely with the New Creations Outreach team to assist with skills development. “I see the work that New Creations Outreach is doing for the community (and) it is important we work together to help everyone,” he said.

Diane Van Rooyen, 50, from Tafelsig, for the first time shared her experience of gender-based violence on Thursday, saying she had initially been unable to identify the signs of abuse, but reached out to New Creations Outreach to assist her. She was raped at the ages of 7, 15 and 17.

“It was an horrific experience, men hurt me throughout my life,” she said. But, she added: “I won’t let what happened to me define my life today.”

Ms Spike said: “We want to be in a safe space, however, some are not ready to break their silence as yet. We need to be the driving force for one another, we can help each other through this platform.”

For more information on the Break my Silence Project contact Ms Spike on 067 158 0807 or email them at
alvina@newcreationsoutreach.org.za or their Facebook page.