Penny Appeal South Africa and Ihata Shelter in Cape Town has teamed up to launch a national hotline for victims of violence against women from across the country.
The hotline, which was launched yesterday, will provide a safe space for victims of abuse to share their stories and get support and assistance from trained staff at Ihata. The line will be open to all who have suffered abuse, although the core focus will be placed on women and children as they encompass the majority victims of abuse.
Faizel Porter, operations manager at Ihata, said: “We have trained professionals with trauma councillors on hand attending to the call, The line will be available to anyone who needs to talk about their situations or if they would like assistance in reporting it to the police or finding a shelter.
Porter explained: “Sometimes victims just want a non-judgemental ear to listen to their experiences, we will provide that and also have councillors on board who can assist if they need advice. One of our core partners is the SAPS Manenberg Victim Empowerment unit where victims can be assisted with reporting the crimes committed against them.
Penny Appeal will collaborate with Ihata and do the fundraising to ensure the long-term sustainability of the hotline.
Penny Appeal has been made aware of the struggles that victims face. “We are finding our attention drawn to gender-based violence or crimes toward children,” Shahnaaz Paruk, CEO of Penny Appeal South Africa said. “Penny Appeal is committed to advocating and intervening in a safer society for females and children as well as vulnerable groups. We take safeguarding of such people seriously, and bear their safety at the forefront of our projects. We hope that in time this initiative will provide platforms for greater intervention and action in making our country safer,” Paruk said.
Victims needing assistance should call the toll-free number: 0800 44 44 42.