One of the things that makes LvA’s approach to gender-based violence truly unique is the integrated nature of our services. As we provide our clients with both legal and psychosocial support, they are not only fully supported through the legal process, but, through therapy, are able to move from a place of victimisation to one of empowerment. Mpho’s* story provides a poignant example of the importance and impact of this approach.
Mpho was referred to LvA after being kidnapped and repeatedly assaulted and raped by her former partner and father of her children, Diale*. Although she had already opened a criminal case of assault, she had not felt comfortable to share the details of the sexual violence with the police. LvA assisted Mpho to open a second criminal case for rape and kidnapping. When Diale was released on bail, Mpho was afraid for her safety. LvA helped Mpho through the entire process to secure a final protection order, including assisting with the initial application, service, and attending three court hearings with Mpho. If not for LvA, Mpho would have been alone through this process.
Throughout this time, Mpho also attended weekly therapy sessions with LvA’s psychologist. As many victims do, Mpho blamed herself for what had happened. She was terrified of Diale and what he could do to her and their children. Therapy was used as a way to work through the effects of the trauma she had sustained at his hands, and to build a sense of her personal agency and ability to take charge of her life and the lives of her children. Mpho is now determined to see the case against Diale to completion and is so grateful for LvA’s ongoing support. Although the road before her is long, Mpho does not have to walk it alone.
* Please note that names have been changed to protect identities.