‘Litsha court tackles disability

2017-01-19 06:02
 Members of disabled community organisations listening attentively to the presentation.

Members of disabled community organisations listening attentively to the presentation.

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The Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court management has devised intervention strategies to make the facility accessible to people with disabilities.

Court manager Velile Reuben Yayi said they have formed a forum where they meet and discuss concerns of the disabled people, especially with regards to court processes.

“We have gathered non-governmental organisations working with the disabled people and started understanding their concerns,” said Yayi.

Yayi, together with Samila Gender Services, Phambili VIP Bangane -an organisation of disabled people, recently held a domestic violence awareness campaign for the people with disabilities in the community.

Samila Gender Services social worker Fezeka Manong said disabled people were commonly affected by issues like rape and domestic violence but are “scared to report matters like these.”

“We are hoping this partnership with Khayelitsha Magistrates Court and the police will empower and encourage them to speak out,” said Manong.

Phambili VIP Bangane’s Mtutuzeli Dywili urged the disabled people to “stand up for their rights”.

“We are not second rate citizens...we have the same rights as everybody else and the country’ constitutions speaks for all of us,” he said.

Dwyili said the Khayelitsha Magistrates Court outreach programmes will further give their organisation a platform to “raise issues of the disabled”.

Yayi added that the domestic violence awareness campaign was an “eye opener” because the disabled community, especially the blind people voiced strong views on the matter.

At the same event books in braille on Domestic Violence and Children’s Act were handed over to the organisation representing the disabled community.

Johan Kutu from Phambili VIP Bangane thanked the department of justice for providing the literature for the blind.

“Blind people can now read these laws and know when their rights are violated. Also we as the organisation we will use them to spread the knowledge about what affects us,” said Kutu.

Types of Abuse highlighted were: Physical Abuse is any act of violence or rough treatment that causes injury or discomfort, such as slapping, pushing or hitting. It may include over or under-medicating and the use of physical restraints.

Emotional Abuse is any act which lowers a person’s dignity and self-worth. This may include regularly yelling at, criticizing, threatening, humiliating or isolating the elderly or disabled person.

Sexual Abuse is any unwanted sexual act. This may include unwanted touching, kissing or fondling. Financial Abuse is any act involving the misuse of the elderly or disabled person’s money without full consent.

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