Here are numbers you can call if you’re a victim of gender-based violence

Stop Violence Against Women March in Pretoria
Stop Violence Against Women March in Pretoria
Alet Pretorious/Gallo Images

  • President Cyril Ramaphosa said South Africa is one of the most unsafe places to be a woman.
  • A man was recently arrested for the murder of Tshegofatso Pule, who was found hanging from a tree in Roodepoort a day after she was reported missing.
  • We’ve included a list of numbers women can call if they’re in danger.
  • Read more stories on drum.co.za

Addressing parliament at the end of last year, President Cyril Ramaphosa said South Africa was one of the most unsafe places in the world to be a woman, with levels of violence comparable to countries that are at war.

In 2018 alone, he said, 2 700 women in the country and more than 1 000 children died at the hands of men. “Research by Statistics South Africa showed that one in five South African women over the age of 18 had experienced physical violence by a partner,” he added.

Proposing solutions to the scourge, Ramaphosa said crimes of this nature should be referred to as male-perpetrated violence.

“We have to act now before anger and hopelessness engulfs our country . . . Calling it gender-based violence is too vague, too euphemistic and simplistic. We should call it what it is, the despicable and deplorable violent attacks by men on women, girls and even babies. It should be more appropriately referred to as male-perpetrated violence,” he said.

Reacting to the number of femicide cases reported since the country went into the Covid-19 lockdown, Ramaphosa recently said this was a dark and shameful week for the nation.

Miyelani Minyuku, a mother of two, took to Twitter to beg for help after her ex-boyfriend threatened to burn her to death, something she says he’s attempted before.


“Guys help me my baby daddy is threatening me he wants to kill me I’m scared he will kill me,” her tweet read. She said in March the man poured petrol all over her house while she slept and she had to beg him to spare her.

“I have a pending case against him from that time,” she says. “We’d been together for over 12 years until I decided I could no longer live with the abuse and decided to leave, which he did not accept,” Miyelani added.


Twitter users rallied to help bring her to safety, yet her case is the exception as many women don’t make it out alive.


Tshegofatso Pule, who was expecting a baby girl, was recently found hanging from a tree at Durban Deep in Roodepoort a day after she was reported missing. A man has been arrested for her murder, News24
reports.


According to City Press, the mom-to-be reportedly told a friend she wanted to go home when she walked out of the housing complex in which her boyfriend resided in Roodepoort.

A close friend, who was on the planning committee for her baby shower, says her friend’s last moments keep replaying in her head. “It’s so painful. I just can’t believe a human can do this to another human being. I keep imagining her fighting for her life, how she was fighting. It’s so gruesome,” she says.


Tshegofatso’s best friend could not proceed with our planned interview after the 28-year-old’s family had a change of heart about media interviews.

“I’m in so much pain, I’m dysfunctional. Facing a difficult situation without the person who would help me through bad days. I’m so sorry this happened to you and baby K,” she tweeted.

Who to call if you need help:

People Opposed to Woman Abuse (Powa) provides counselling – both over the phone and in person – temporary shelter and legal help to women who have experienced violence.
 
Call them on 011-642-4345 or email info@powa.co.za

Childline South Africa helps abused children and their families with a free counselling service. It deals with issues such as physical and sexual abuse, substance abuse, behavioural problems and trafficking, and gives legal advice.
Call their toll-free helpline on 0800-055-555.

Child Welfare South Africa focuses on child protection, childcare and family development. Neglect and child abuse can also be reported.
Call them on 074-080-8315 or email info@childwelfaresa.co.za

Families South Africa (Famsa) provides counselling and education to help improve marriages and families. It helps in cases of domestic violence and trauma, divorces and mediation. There are 27 offices across the country.
Call them on 011-975-7106/7

Tears Foundation provides access to crisis intervention, advocacy, counselling and prevention education services for those impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault and child sexual abuse.
Contact their free SMS helpline by typing *134*7355# or email info@tears.co.za

The Trauma Centre provides trauma counselling and violence prevention services for people affected by violence. Call them on 021-465-7373

Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCCs) are one-stop facilities that have been introduced as a critical part of South Africa’s anti-rape strategy, aiming to reduce secondary victimisation and to build a case ready for successful prosecution. Contact the Gender-Based Violence Command Centre on 0800-428-428.