During 16 Days of Activism 2012, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) will launch its new guide for survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) and activists working to combat GBV in their communities. 16 Days of Activism is an international campaign to combat violence against women and children that runs from 25 November – 10 December.
TAC’s guide for activists and survivors is now available online here and being delivered to TAC branches and partners working to combat gender-based violence across the country. Below is a short excerpt from page 7, which explains the aims of the guide:
“This guide is for all people who want to learn more about gender-based violence (GBV), the laws that protect survivors’ rights, and how to take action. It will help you understand what GBV is and what you can do about it.
If you are a survivor of GBV, this guide provides clear steps that you can take to help you to feel safe, to heal and to bring the perpetrator to justice. You might want to find out about how you can protect yourself from ongoing abuse, and where to go for support and care. The guide explains where to report the abuse, and also what help you can get as a survivor of GBV. You will also find specific information on what happens after rape, including your medical care, examination, emotional reactions, the role of family support and legal processes.
If you know someone who is a survivor of GBV, the guide will give you information on how you can assist her or him to get help such as health care and counselling, and to open a case against the perpetrator.
In South Africa the statistics of GBV are extremely high and people who need to access services in relation to GBV often experience problems.
Service providers, such as healthcare workers and police, are often not victim-friendly, due to the lack of resources and poor training. Also, many survivors do not know their rights and how to demand an appropriate response.
The purpose of this guide is to inform you of your rights, in order toempower you to exercise your rights and to prevent further acts of violence from being committed against you and others. If you know your rights, you are in a better position to demand that your rights are respected and protected. This guide includes a section on what you can do in situations where the state fails to uphold your rights and/ or fails to carry out its duties.
If you are a community activist, this guide is a resource you can use to help you run campaigns to change attitudes that drive GBV in your community, as well as to advocate for better access to care, support and justice services for survivors and their families.”
The book has been dedicated to TAC’s branch members for their tireless and voluntary work to combat gender based violence. We hope that the book will be a useful tool for all organisations and activists working to combat GBV in their communities.