A non-governmental organisation (NGO) is fighting gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) in Taung in the North West.
The Taung Men Against Gender Based Violence and Femicide Forum helps gender-based violence (GBV) victims avoid secondary victimisation and access psychological support services.
Founder and chairperson Tebogo Mokgejane says they help victims of rape, assault and other forms of GBV. Mokgejane says the 131-member organisation facilitates ongoing counselling sessions with a Department of Social Development (DSD) counsellor for GBV victims.
“Victims of GBV go through a traumatic experience and we help them access the sort of psychological services that are often not available on a daily basis. The DSD often has only one session for GBV victims so we get them to offer ongoing counselling services. People who are victims often find it difficult to open up the first time so the ongoing sessions allow people the chance to speak,” says Mokgejane.
He adds that the continuous counselling sessions help GBV victims prepare for the court process that they will have to go through. “Testifying in court requires that a witness recall details of a trauma that they would often like to forget.
“We put pressure on law enforcement to thoroughly investigate GBV cases and arrest perpetrators. When suspects appear in court, we apply to be friends of the court (amicus curiae) on behalf of the victim. We use this platform to campaign against the granting of bail,” says Mokgejane.
The NGO organises men in 121 villages to go and support GBV victims in court. Transportation is also organised to and from court and police stations for a GBV victim.
He says: “A lot of cases are thrown out of court because the victims are not able to afford the transport costs and as an organisation, we make sure that they are always able to make it there.”
Mokgejane says men can teach their peers that GBVF is wrong. “Men can speak to their friends at a social level. It can be a chat between friends that makes it possible for them to address the issue.”
If you need assistance, find a representative of the NPO in one of the villages it is active in, or visit its Facebook page: Taung Men Against Gender Based Violence and Femicide Forum.