Deal with abuse straight away

2017-11-29 06:00
Nokuthula Zwane of Ester House.PHOTO:supplied

Nokuthula Zwane of Ester House.PHOTO:supplied

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BEING abused as a child and not seeking and obtaining help immediately can affect you as an adult.

This is according to Nokuthula Zwane the general manager at Esther House in Pietermaritzburg, a home that takes care of abused women and children.

Speaking to Maritzburg FeverZwane said it is important for parents to listen to their children when they confide in them, about being abused.

She hopes that the 16 Days of Activism For No Violence Against Women and Children campaign, from 25 November to 10 December, will show victims that there is help out there.

She said most abused children and women lose hope if they don’t get the support and help they need.

“Most of the time we find that abused children have tried to tell their parents, but their parents did not believe them or told them to never speak about it again.

“These children then grow up with psychological problems.

“It is our job as parents and adults to protect our children. If your child tells you that she or he has been abused, don’t sweep it under the carpet, believe them and support them while they are being counselled.”

Zwane said it is very important for the victim to talk about their experience.

“You get the support you need. You find someone who will listen to you and be there for you all the time.

“Moving to places like Esther House also helps because you meet other people who have had the same experience as you or even worse - that is when you realise you are not alone.”

Pietermaritzburg Police Station Captain Khosi Khonjelwayo said it is important to know that abuse is not a shame.

Khonjelwayo said most women, who do not report abuse, are trying to protect their partners, even though they are aware their partner is in the wrong.

“It starts with a slap, after that the perpetrator will bring gifts and apologise.The survivors will let it slide and it will get worse until they [victims] get killed. Abuse does not have to be physical.

“Emotional, verbal and even psychological abuse also exists. If someone insults you, calls you names or invades your privacy, that is also abuse. It may look or sound trivial, but it often leaves permanent scars.

“It is not your fault that you are being abused and you don’t have to be ashamed of it.
“People in abusive relationships believe that if they go to the police to report the abuse the police will not assist.

“We want to change that perception,” she said.

Khonjelwayo said SAPS receives domestic
violence cases almost daily and prioritises these cases.

“It is a commitment of the South African Police Service to treat victims of domestic violence with sensitivity and care.

“As police officials we will treat these victims of abuse with respect and protect their dignity.

“People must not insult or blame them (victims) and suggest that it was their fault.” she said.

Where to get help?

SAPS Crime Stop

08600 10111

Gender-Based Violence Command Centre

0800 428 428

Stop Gender Violence Helpline

0800 150 150

SMS *120*7867# from any cell phone.

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