What will become of you if you are a victim of a sexual assault or gender based violence? It is with great satisfaction that we can now announce that GRIP (The Greater Rape Intervention Programme), situated in Piet Retief, recently opened its first shelter for gender based violence victims and those who had been exposed to sexual assaults and rape.
On Thursday, 29 November, the event was officially opened by Mrs Sakina Mohamed, Chief Executive Officer of GRIP. She is a dynamic person who truly has a passion for the good work that she and the personnel do in helping victims of these crimes. The ceremony was opened with Scripture and Prayer by Pastor Vilakazi whereafter Mrs Irene Brussow welcomed all the guests and representatives of various stakeholders.
Ms Thobile Sibiya, of GRIP in Piet Retief, explained the purpose of the day and Mrs Mohamed introduced all the various departments present: Mr Lushaba gave an inspirational speech as to why people revert to posting incidents of such horrendous crimes on social media or why do people like to take photos but, very little of them are willing to really act and report these crimes.
The local SAPS encouraged people to report these crimes as they are offering their help in apprehending these criminals and bringing them to justice. Mr Zanele Mnisi, member of the Mayoral Committee and Ward 17 councillor, addressed the audience and voiced his satisfaction with what GRIP has been doing for the community of Mkhondo. A survivor of gender based violence also spoke to the visitors saying that she will be forever thankful for the manner in which members of GRIP assisted her.
She stated that she is no longer a victim but, a true survivor and that it is very important to speak out and immediately get help. Ms Zana Khumalo, a Social Worker of the Department of Social Development, explained to the guests which duties a Social Worker has and the various steps that need to be taken regarding domestic violence.
She highlighted the importance of a safe environment for young children and that it is very important to educate and discipline your children from a young age. She gave an informative speech on what the department does for the different communities and that they rely on the continuous assistance of stakeholders and partners to enable them to successfully assist victims.
Mrs Brussow, Ms Khumalo, Mr Mnisi and the SAPS were responsible for cutting the ribbon to officially open the shelter’s doors. Victims of domestic violence and sexual crimes are welcome to come for assistance and guidance. The shelter will provide a place of safety for abused women and children, with daily meals, ablution facilities, bedrooms and counselling.
For more information about GRIP in Piet Retief, kindly contact 083 310 1321 or 013 752 4404. Mrs Mohamed said, “each one, teach one” and this message is important as we can all make a difference in someone’s life if we would stop looking the other way and if we are willing to speak out!