Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
Eradicating gender-based violence (GBV) in South Africa is no small feat. Helping each victim of women and child abuse and addressing existing systemic gaps is a massive undertaking. Try as we might, LvA cannot do it alone. Neither can our partners, which is why the Diepsloot GBV Forum was founded.
The Forum brings together key state actors such as the police, Department of Social Development, Department of Health, and the Diepsloot Community Policing Forum (CPF), as well as civil society members engaged in the fight against GBV in Diepsloot including Afrika Tikkun, Childline, Green Door, NCVT, Sonke Gender Justice, the Teddy Bear Clinic, and many more, to develop strategies to combat GBV in Diepsloot and to address the systemic and structural gaps that exist. The Forum offers stakeholders an opportunity to share challenges they are facing and for each member to benefit from the experiences and expertise of others.
In late March, the Forum hosted its first meeting in an effort to identify the key issues contributing to high GBV prevalence rates in Diepsloot and challenges facing both victims and stakeholders. The meeting brought meaningful discussion and concrete ideas to address the unique challenges we all face in Diepsloot. Among the issues discussed were lack of post-rape medical care, absence of shelters within the community and the need for ongoing training of CPF members. For each problem presented, an equally creative strategy was developed – all of which LvA and our fellow Forum members will begin implementing before the Forum reconvenes next quarter.
We are excited to see the real change that this Forum can bring. There is strength in numbers and we are certain that the collective passion and expertise of these stakeholders will make a meaningful difference in the lives of women and children in Diepsloot.