Domestic violence programme empowers

2015-12-09 06:00
 Domestic violence service providers and community members at a programme on domestic violence at Kingsburgh Child and Family Welfare Society. Photo: tania sandberg

Domestic violence service providers and community members at a programme on domestic violence at Kingsburgh Child and Family Welfare Society. Photo: tania sandberg

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ON 2 December, Kingsburgh Child and Family Welfare Society hosted a training programme on gender sensitivity and domestic violence in support of the 16 Days of Activism against Women and Children Abuse campaign.

“The programme is designed to raise awareness among service providers and communities, funded by AECI,” said Sandra Govender, senior social worker. The programme provides information about the causes of domestic violence and sensitises service providers and communities to gender issues and problems experienced by victims. It also encourages communities to take action and develop understanding and empathy for those who have been abused.

Govender said abusers come from all races, religions and cultures.
“They may be rich or poor. They may have good jobs or no jobs, but all abusers have one thing in common – they want to control their partner.”

Abusers believe they are more important and more powerful than their partner.
They are able to control their violent behaviour with other people, but not with their partners and often blame their partners for their violence.

“A person who is in a relationship with an abuser cannot make them stop. Only an abuser can make the choice to change his or her behaviour,” Govender said.

“The cycle of abuse has three stages - the tension stage, the abusing stage and the honeymoon stage. During the first stage the relationship between the victim and her partner becomes difficult and strained and tension builds up. During the abusing stage, the abuser abuses or beats his or her partner, which may last for a few minutes or a few days.
It might also be emotional abuse such as shouting or insulting the victim, and the honeymoon phase is after the abuse, the abuser is often very sorry and promises never to abuse or beat his or her partner again.
After a while the honeymoon stage ends and the relationship becoming difficult and strained again,” Govender added.

Victims of abuse are protected under The Domestic Violence Act 166 or 1998 and women and men who have been or are being abused can obtain a protection order at any magistrate’s court or registrar of the court at no cost.

For further information, contact Kingsburgh Child and Family Welfare Society on 031 916 227.

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