South Africa: Support Tools for Gender-Based Violence Survivors

opinion

In support of survivors of gender-based violence - irrespective of when the experience occurred - here are some practical self-compassionate tools of support.

A new wave of activism against gender-based violence has engulfed South Africa following a recent spate of horrifying incidents. At the extraordinary joint sitting of Parliament on Wednesday, 18 September, President Cyril Ramaphosa acknowledged a "dark and heavy shadow across our land", saying "women and children of this country are under siege".

He announced an "emergency five-point action plan" to be implemented over the next six months to tackle the scourge of gender-based violence. The five points are prevention, strengthening the criminal justice system, enhancing the legal and policy framework, ensuring adequate care, support and healing for victims of violence, and strengthening the economic power of women.

The plans outlined by the President had a familiar ring to them, echoing the likes of the State of the Nation address - more talk and framework building with little or no concrete, immediate action.

We are known to be a nation that reacts when in crisis, but sadly, in six months' time, the momentum of our current trauma will have fizzled and we will have a new crisis to...

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