Centre seeks help from professionals
Soteria Ministries and Ocean View Care Centre are appealing to professionals such as lawyers, psychologists, trauma counsellors and doctors to give a few free hours to assist with women abuse and domestic violence.
The victims have no finances to seek help and the centre is trying to assist them.
Over the past seven years hundreds of women have visited the Ocean View Care Centre in the hope that the centre could help them with their problems, including the violation of their rights.
“We are celebrating Women’s Month and the women that are still coming to knock on our doors in 2018 with the same problems are still suffering immensely. For a large number, the chances of receiving justice are out of reach. Through the centre the professionals can give their help for free,” says Johann Kikillus, director at Soteria Ministries.
The women are from all walks of life and many have to watch their children suffer and are in no position to change their circumstances.
“There has been an increase in stress-related diseases as women have to cope with enormous challenges and trauma. The question that is always on my lips is ‘What more can be done to help the plight of these women?’ For one, civil society needs to become more involved. Churches, of which there are a few hundred in the Far South, need to prioritise their ministries and budgets to reach out to the thousands of women living in a state of hopelessness. Places of safety need to be built – for both emergency and long-term stays,” Kikillus says.
Despite the “shockingly high” domestic violence statistics in the Western Cape, there are almost no places for a woman to go to in a time of need, Kikillus says.
“Even basics such as sanitary towels and underwear are out of reach of many women. In the middle of winter, many women come to visit the care centre wearing flip-flops and a thin sweater.
“As we observe Women’s Month, we acknowledge that our country has come a long way to ensure that women have the same rights and opportunities as men do, but we cannot pat ourselves on the back and become complacent. We have to make a more concerted effort to start reaching out to the millions of women who have been left behind,” he says.