The Girl Impact, a gender equality program in Cape Town, aims to empower women and girls by focusing on safety and violence prevention. So many destructive influences put a third of children at risk of physical violence, finding a solution difficult. We believe training women in Art Facilitation, which in return can be implemented with other community partners, is the solution to the violence that women and girls are facing. This project aims to benefit 14 trainees and over 300 children.
In Cape Town, an average of 60,000 women and children are victims of intimate partner violence every month. A school-based study estimates: -35.4% of South Africa's children experience some form of sexual abuse -34.8% of children experience physical violence -26.1% experience emotional abuse When children don't have a safe environment after school, they are more likely to be involved in gangs, violent behavior, drugs and alcohol and causing school dropout rates to increase.
Our goal is to train 13 women and 1 man to implement an art therapy program into their workplaces. Art therapy and promoting safety serve as protective factors to prevent risk factors such as violence, drugs and drinking. The concept of art therapy helps to improve one's mental and emotional well-being. Art therapy can be used to address the aftermath of violence for youth and can play an important role in violence prevention therefore less likely to continue the cycle of violent behavior.
Art therapy produces benefits including the ability to develop a sense of identity, independence, discipline, and self-confidence. Also, it provides children with a non-verbal form of communication to express their thoughts and feelings. Those engaged in art therapy are less likely to drop out of school early or be involved in violent behaviour. Further, art therapy can raise awareness, educate the community on safety and violence prevention, and provide a new skill to the trainees.