Stop sexual violence against South African women

by REACH-Rural Education, Awareness & Community Health

While the battle to combat violence against women is certainly not over, the REACH project to educate has been funded by the generosity of people like you and other funders.  Your donations have been vital in providing South African communities with sensitization campaigns, and training and education programs directed toward both women and men. It is through these programs that we can help systematically change attitudes and protect women from oppression and abuse.

If you are interested in supporting similar projects check out Positive Women's Network's (PWN) project "Fight HIV/AIDS by Empowering Women in South Africa" by clicking here.

Once again, thank you.  It is because of your generous donations that our partners are able to fight discrimination and ensure the health and well being of women around the world.

Everyday in South Africa, rural women are fighting to survive sexual violence. South African’s constitution asserts that all citizens have the right to be free of abuse, but this right is perpetually violated!

To combat the problem of sexual violence, REACH is taking an educational approach by developing and implementing sensitization campaigns that will help change social patterns and raise awareness of women's rights issues, gender equality, and violence against women. Reach is also providing training and education programs to ensure that not only women, but men too are being empowered to become proactive in the struggle to end all sexual violence.

REACH recently initiated a South African Rural Women’s Day Campaign in partnership with the Rape Crisis Center and the Center for Rural Legal Studies. It was a day to honor rural women farmers who are often neglected from celebrations of women's days.  However, the real goal was to explore problematic issues faced by rural women of today.  Topics such as sexual harassment, and sexual violence, drug and alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancies, HIV/AIDS were all discussed to bring awareness of how critical the issue of sexual violence truly is.  The campaign was also a means of exploring how well rural communities are dealing with these issues and to what extent are preventive measures being taken.  100 men and women showed their support by attending this event and participating in deliberations.

Though, REACH has successfully begun to change attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors related to violence against women, they still need your support.  Donate today and help REACH protect women from exploitation and abuse!

REACH has impacted  hundreds of people in the Western Cape of South Africa with its outreach campaigns, political activism, and local workshops. It's success is not only in making women aware of their rights, but including men, boys, and policy makers in outreach efforts.

REACH's official statement on it's objectives, reads:

"Sexual harassment and sexual violence are complex social problems which cannot be dealt with single, simple strategies. REACH believes that the key to effectively and efficiently address these issues is to broach it within a holistic framework.  REACH has 6 main project activities:
• To provide training and awareness raising on sexual harassment and sexual violence (and their interlinking factors),
• To establish & provide counselling support services,
• To establish & provide legal support services,
• To research contributing factors to sexual harassment and sexual violence,
• To develop sexual harassment and sexual violence campaigns,
• To promote changes of restrictive policies and advocate for a law on sexual harassment"

REACH not only supports women who have experienced violence, but understands that violence against women affects everyone.

This important grassroots organization is making huge strides in changing the social acceptance of violence in rural South African communities. Thank you for your support- your generosity goes a long way!

REACH worked together with a few key organizations to present a joint submission to the Portfolio Committee (The Portfolio Committee called for submissions to review the 11th year of implementation of the Domestic Violence Act 11)- the submission focused on and included the following:

  • The flaws in the Domestic Violence Act implementation
  • The role of the court, the police, the health system, and the social welfare system
  • The lack of housing and shelter
  • Made recommendations for changes with regards to each area
  • Included one of REACH’s beneficiaries’ story- as a way of illustrating the problems and gaps in the system around the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act

The outcome of the submission remains to be seen completely, however REACH has already experienced more calls than ever before for client assistance. Calls have been referred from the Independent Claims Directorate (ICD), a government institution that was established to investigate complaints of brutality, criminality and misconduct against members of the South African Police Service and the Municipal Police Service.

Your generosity and support helps REACH work effectively, creating big political impact and helping rural communities to fight against sexual violence towards women.

Starting October 12 for a limited time, GlobalGiving will be matching donations for this project! Donate and maximize your impact!

REACH’s continued efforts to end violence against women in South Africa has been strengthened through relentless dedication to addressing the issue at the legislative level and also by supporting women survivors of sexual and domestic abuse. Because women are increasingly vulnerable in these rural areas (especially within farming communities) due to low wages, insecure jobs, poor housing conditions, lack of education and limited access to other vital social services, REACH intervenes within in this context through an integrated and holistic approach geared to change the structural conditions that make farm workers vulnerable by providing counseling and legal support, rights-based training, raising awareness and advocacy work.

REACH is recognized as an expert in the field of sexual violence and has directly worked to improve women’s situations in the workplace. A great example of this is that one farm that REACH has been working with since 2007, reported that cases of sexual harassment and sexual violence have dropped since REACH began working with the farm workers.

You can help REACH attain their long-term goal of expanding its services by establishing satellite offices in the rural communities allowing them more quickly and effectively respond to violence against women.


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Organization Information

REACH-Rural Education, Awareness & Community Health

Location: Cape Town, Western Cape - South Africa
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Gillian Wilson
IDEX Latin America Program Director
San Francisco, CA United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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