Help on the line for the abused

Friday, November 24, 2017

As the country observes the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini has encouraged the victims of abuse to make use of the department’s Gender Based Violence Command Centre (GBVCC).

The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign will be observed from 25 November to 10 December. However, government encourages the public to observe the campaign 365 days of the year. 

The GBV command centre is a 24-hour call centre that is available to assist survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) with support and guidance by trained social workers.

The GBVCC toll-free number is 0800428428. Alternatively, USSD (Please Call Me) *120*7867# or SMS “Help” to 31531 or Skype: HelpMeGBV.

The centre was established by the department to deal with violence, especially against women and children. It offers a comprehensive, integrated system that provides immediate, consistent, coordinated and timely support to survivors of GBV. 

Its services are linked to the South African Police Service, the Emergency Management Services and the Department of Health.

The GBVCC uses mobile technology to estimate the location of a caller, assign the closest social worker in the field to the case, and record and receive continuous feedback on the case.

It employs trained social workers who provide immediate counselling to callers, and helps them to avoid or minimise further exposure to GBV.

Minister Dlamini said the command centre is aimed at making the department as responsive as possible to GBV.

“Additional functionality available to the department on a real-time basis includes strategic reporting, which will highlight trends in specific locations or types of violence occurring, as well as an indication of demand for social workers in a specific district,” Minister Dlamini said on Friday.

She said the centre has contributed immensely to government’s interventions on GBV as a rapid response mechanism to deal speedily and effectively with issues wherever they arise.

The centre operates 24 hours and it provides a single point of entry for survivors of GBV to request emergency help, seek advice and receive counselling, and access other Departments of Social Services programmes.

Recognition of excellence

Since its inception, the command centre has received four awards in recognition of the excellence of the service it delivers.

It was awarded the 2014 CCMG Best Technology Innovation Award, Changing Lives Award, Best Technology-Internal Solution Award for the Europe, Middle-East and Africa region (EMEA), as well as Small Contact Centre award in technology solution. 

16 Days of Activism

President Jacob Zuma will on Saturday launch the 16 Days of Activism campaign at the Nelson Mandela University, Missionvale Campus, in Port Elizabeth.

The theme for 2017 is “Count me in: Together moving a non-violent South Africa forward”. The public can follow the conversation on social media using the hashtag #CountMeIn.

In keeping with the theme of the Year of the OR Tambo, the campaign will be held under the sub-theme ‘OR Tambo and the emancipation of women’.

This year marks the 19th anniversary of the 16 Days of Activism campaign in South Africa. The campaign focuses on raising awareness of the negative impact of violence on women and children, as well as on society as a whole. It is also focuses on seeking prevention interventions to the ongoing violence perpetrated against women and children. – SAnews.gov.za

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