Gender Based Violence (GBV) is rife in Alexandra and urgent interventions are needed on all levels. Every day our team working in Alex are made aware of cases of women and children being abused and treated in unacceptable ways. The scourge of GBV has become far worse since the start of lockdown, almost a year ago, as women are "locked down" with their abusers, with limited means to escape and nowhere else to live. We need help to provide counselling and support to the victims of GBV.
The community of Alexandra is underprivileged and over-crowded with close to 60% unemployment levels amongst its residents. This is even higher now as the impact of COVID-19 is realised across the country. As a result more people are angry and desperate, and too often, these feelings are borne by the women and children in the community.
Daily women and children are victims of GBV and Rays of Hope picks them up and walks the journey to restoration and recovery with them. From practical assistance with food and toiletries, hand-holding and reporting at the police station and counselling individually, for the children, in groups and families, we give the women the emotional support needed for them to help themselves to face their challenges. We also place families in shelters if needed or find relatives for them to move in with.
The project will empower the women of Alex to stand up for themselves against the men that abuse them. They come to know that they are not alone and do not have to walk through this by themselves. In many cases, due to poverty, women are not able to leave their abusers, but by empowering and educating them on their rights and options, they are given the power of choice again.