Call centre launched to assist victims of gender-based violence

By Drum Digital
08 April 2014

The Vodacom Foundation has invested R4.2 million towards a 24-hour call centre aimed at providing support and counselling to victims of gender based violence.

The Department of Social Development in partnership with the Vodacom Foundation has launched a 24-hour call centre aimed at providing support and counselling to victims of gender based violence.

The Vodacom Foundation has invested R4.2 million for a period of six months to help cover the cost of the ICT infrastructure for the call centre, said Maya Makanjee Chief Corporate Affairs at Vodacom.

Social Development Director General Coceko Phakade said a group of 75 qualified Social Workers with training in trauma management and customer services have been employed, and that 65 of these social workers were previously unemployed.

The Command Centre’s pilot phase will run for six months, focusing on Edendale and Inanda in KwaZulu-Natal, as well as Hillbrow, Moroka, Sunnyside, Akasia and Alexandra in Gauteng.

When a victim calls the call centre, the social worker agent on the other end of the line is able to identify the area in which the call is coming from.

The toll free number is 0800 428 428 (0800 GBV GBV) and callers will be able to speak to a social worker for assistance and counselling.

Callers can also request a social worker from the command centre to contact them by dialling *120*7867# (free) from a cell phone.

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.

Phakade said gender equity cannot be achieved without addressing the scourge of gender-based violence.

“Gender-based violence is a serious development issue that has substantial impact on the social cohesion and resilience of communities and hence on economic growth and poverty education,” he said.

By: Nomzamo Ngcobo

Pictures: Tumelo Leburu

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