Session puts spotlight on abuse

Various leadership structures attended the 16 Days of Activism event hosted by New Creations Outreach on Friday November 27.

New Creations Outreach held their 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children Campaign event, focusing on how to enhance resilience in an abusive environment.

Founder of New Creations Outreach, Alvina Spike, herself a survivor of rape and sexual violence, led the session and shared her experience with those affected by gender-based violence, on Friday November 27, at Mitchell’s Plain SAPS boardroom.

The women and men who attended the event were from various leadership structures in Mitchell’s Plain such as neighbourhood watches, victim empowerment programmes and

SA Women Fight Back, to name a few, as well as Washiela Harris, councillor for Ward 82 (Tafelsig and the western part of Wolfgat Nature Reserve).

Ms Harris has supported the initiatives and programmes of New Creations Outreach.

“I am a survivor. I was in an abusive relationship and it was a very dark road for me. If you are familiar with the road I was on, you will need to know that you should allow yourself to go through a process – to understand what has happened to you, that it was not your fault and that you need to heal,” said Ms Spike.

“We need to be resilient through this. We should go out and encourage someone else who may be experiencing the same thing. Give them strength and hope that they will come out stronger, what happened to them is not the end,” said Ms Spike.

Refgan Martin, the Mitchell’s Plain SAPS Victim Empowerment Programme co-ordinator, explained their role at SAPS for survivors of gender-based violence. They provide support, counselling and legal advice.

Guest speaker Natasha Wagiet, who is the pro bono co-ordinator at law firm ENSafrica, commended survivors for their resilience to equip themselves on how to deal with their experiences.

She also shared facts on how they can report their assault legally.

Dee Coetzee, social media executive for SA Women Fight Back, shared information on their organisation. SA Women Fight Back was started in response to the high number of women and children killed in the country in September last year.

Ms Spike said it is important for those affected by gender-based violence to have all the information, resources and tools to better their situation and be informed of what to do after they have been raped or assaulted.

“It is very important for us to stay connected and informed of anti gender-based violence events,” added Ms Spike.

For more information on New Creations Outreach, contact Ms Spike at 067 158 0807, email them at alvina@newcreationsoutreach.org.za or visit their Facebook page.