‘Fight child abuse in 16 ways’

2017-12-05 06:00
Where Rainbows Meet picketed to raise awareness against child abuse.PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

Where Rainbows Meet picketed to raise awareness against child abuse.PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

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A non-profit organisation in Vrygrond held a picket on the corner of Vrygrond Avenue and Prince George Drive last Tuesday to raise awareness of the 16 Days of Activism campaign.

The Where Rainbows Meet training and development foundation works with residents of Vrygrond and the surrounding areas.

The organisers believe the issue of abuse cannot be overemphasised – each time there is an opportunity, they will talk about it.

Foundation members and a few children from the crèche they work with walked from the foundation to Prince George Drive with posters.

Some of the placards read “Be brave open a case”, “Children are the future”, “Stop abusing children” and “Know your rights”.

Fatima Abrahams, marketing and events manager of the foundation, says they will be celebrating the 16 days in 16 ways.

“We are speaking to the children, we want to listen, we are running workshops and counselling, advising women and protecting them – you name it. We are talking about the 16 ways because this refers to something that you can do to help a victim or help spread the word of no violence.

“It’s time we stand up and fight for the rights of women and children to end the violence. There is a lot happening in our communities and we can only put an end to it if we speak about it more,” she says.

Abrahams says it is not easy to talk about abuse but those who come to their organisation have found a way to open up.

“When you’re sitting alone and think of what is happening to you, you feel like you’re drowning. However, the moment you start to open up and talk to someone about it, you realise that someone has been down that road that you’re on. You speak about healing and getting help. You realise this is not a journey that you have to walk alone.

“There is help out there, you just have to speak up and be willing to say you need help. I’m glad that women who come to us meet other women, talk about their problems and together find a solution,” she says.

Though there is more emphasis on the 16 Days campaign, Abrahams says it should become an everyday thing.

“We should never wait for the 16 Days of Activism to talk or raise awareness of gender-based violence. This should be an ongoing thing and by so doing we will find solutions together,” she says.

Also attending the picket was a member of the Vrygrond Community Development Forum, Linamandla Deliwe, who says they support the initiative.

“As a forum that works with the community and carries the needs of the community forward, we work a lot with NGOs as they will help us reach our goals. The issue of domestic violence should not be ignored and we are glad that Where Rainbows Meet took the initiate and we could be a part of it,” he says.

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