You are not alone, call GBV command centre

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Victims of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) are reminded and encouraged to use the 24-hour call centre dedicated to provide support and counselling.

Launched in March 2014, the Gender-Based Violence Command Centre (GBVCC) has already been recognised locally and on the continent for its innovative approach and excellence in fighting gender-based violence.

The toll free number to call to speak to a social worker for assistance and counselling is 0800 428 428 (0800 GBV GBV). Callers can also request a social worker from the Command Centre to contact them by dialling *120*7867# (free) from any cell phone.

The centre has won two highly acclaimed service awards in the Innovation Award in the Contact Centre Management Group (CCMG) awards, and the Changing Lives Award in the Africom Awards. 

The GBVCC also participated and competed with Africa, Asia and Europe in the Technological Innovation Awards in London and won the golden award.

Since its inception, the GBVCC has taken more than 24 046 calls and received more than 22 683 ‘please call me’ messages from distraught members of the public who need help in one way or another.

The Command Centre has attended to a variety emergency situations including indecent assault, physical violence, rape, abandoned children and verbal abuse. 

It has also attended to cases of stalking, emotional abuse, sexual harassment, forced marriages, forced prostitution, elderly citizen abuse, bullying and has even intervened in family disputes, to name a few.

The success of the GBVCC can be attributed to the fact that it is a comprehensive, integrated system that provides immediate, consistent, coordinated and timely support to victims of gender-based violence.

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

The centre is also staffed by trained social workers/command centre agents who provide immediate counselling to victims and help them to avoid or minimise further exposure to gender-based violence.

When a caller contacts the GBVCC from a mobile phone, they are (with explicit permission) geographically located, enabling the centre to determine the resources nearest to the caller, whether it be a social worker, a police station, a hospital or safe house. In this way, help is dispatched immediately.

Additional functionality available on a real time basis includes strategic reporting which highlights trends in specific locations or types of violence occurring, as well as an indication of demand for social workers, or any other service, in a specific area.

The command centre can also assist in the prosecution of perpetrators as information collected throughout the intervention process can be made available to the courts as evidence.

The department has collaborated with the South African Police Service, Departments of Justice and Constitutional Development, Health and NGOs on the ground to ensure victims receive medical or legal assistance.

100 Men March

Meanwhile, as part of the centenary celebrations of former President Nelson Mandela and struggle stalwart Mama Albertina Sisulu, government and various social partners will on 10 July 2018 host a national #100MenMarch to stop violence against women and children. 

Both these stalwarts committed their lives to the fight for the human rights particularly women and children. The march in part celebrates their lives but also seeks to raise awareness on the scourge of violence against women and children.

Various formations will in the spirit of #ThumaMina heed the call by President Cyril Ramaphosa that all citizens should take a stand to stop violence against women and children.

The march will draws at least 100 men from various sectors of society, such as government, business, labour, faith-based organisations, non-profit and media organisations to stop the abuse of women and children.  –