Women of Grassy Park were given the opportunity to attend a workshop on gender-based violence at the Ukwakha Ithemba Centre in Lake Road last Tuesday.
The workshop, aimed at educating women on the different types and stages of abuse, had participants in tears as they related to stories presented on the day.
The centre’s counsellor Merle Hendricks says the workshop is one of many hosted to raise awareness of abuse against women and children.
“There are many women in our community who accept abuse from both their partners and relatives in their household. We want to educate them on this ill behaviour and what they need to do to get out of it. Because many of them are uneducated, they feel the need to accept the abuse, thinking it should happen in a marriage or family household. It shouldn’t,” Hendricks said after the workshop. “Some of the stories shared today triggered all of them and they shed a tear because they are going through the same thing. There is hope for these women and they need to take that assistance and education offered from organisations.”
Hendricks says representatives of local organisation Mosaic were also present at the workshop.
The organisation focuses on preventing abuse and domestic violence amongst women and children in poor areas.
“Mosaic shared some important information with the guests and took them through the different stages of abuse. She also educated them on the different types of abuse, which include verbal, physical, emotional, financial and mental abuse,” she says.
“The women where also offered the opportunity to have their status checked by undergoing a free HIV test in our counselling room. Sometimes they walk around without knowing they are infected by the disease. Believe it or not, there are many people uneducated about this.”
Hendricks says the centre would check up on the workshop participants.
“We have lots on our hands and we are glad these women come forward. We will be following up on their situation and afford them the assistance we are able to offer. These women need to find themselves and work on it before moving onto the situation that needs to be solved. It’s not an easy journey and at the end of the day I am hopeful that we are going to make an impact in the community,” adds Hendricks