Handbag project to uplift women

2019-07-02 06:01
Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust seeks to assist rape victims.

Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust seeks to assist rape victims.

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For Women’s Day this year, on the advice of the Jes Foord Foundation, Simon’s Town Museum and SAPS Museum Muizenberg are collecting handbags filled with essentials to donate to Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust.

“We’ve been doing this for years now,” says Margaret Constant of Simon’s Town Museum. “We feel it’s important to create these bags because so many women are being raped every day, or even go to safe houses where they don’t have the toiletries needed by women.”

She explains that the handbags are filled with personal comfort items and given to rape survivors during the initial reporting process at police stations. Adding to that, one of the founding members of the initiative, Suzette Farmer from SAPS Museum Muizenberg, expresses that there is always a need for this type of donation.

“There’s always a need for that comfort bag. What we want is the person who donated the comfort bag to write a card or letter to the women who will receive it, to give the women hope and motivation to get through what they went through. We want them to tell her she is still worthy despite the fact that her dignity was taken,” Farmer says.

She assisted the start-up of this initiative in response to the needs of rape survivors, girls living on the street and the homeless to allow them to at least clean themselves after their ordeal. She says that after DNA testing has been completed on a victim of rape, they hardly ever have the necessities to allow the women to clean themselves and this leaves them still feeling dirty and violated.

“They need underwear, pads – some things to clean themselves,” she said.

Tazneem Wentzel, education officer at Simon’s Town Museum, said in a statement: “We feel very strongly about the issue of rape and would appreciate any donations of unused or good, second-hand handbags that we can donate towards the project, from our Simon’s Town Museum. Please ask others that you know to assist.”

The bags are filled with underwear (from child to adult sizes, male and female), soap or body wash, a washcloth, toothbrush and toothpaste, a small non-perishable snack and sanitary towels (not tampons). What would also be appreciated is the donation of deodorant, shampoo, pen and paper, a small toy for children, hairbrush and ties, and most importantly, a motivational note.V For information visit https://rapecrisis.org.za or email zeenat@rapecrisis.org.za or visit http://www.jff.org.za or send items to Simon’s Town Museum,

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