The pepper spray handover in Delft. file image
The pepper spray handover in Delft. file image

Pepper spray donated to GBV; abuse victims

By Genevieve Serra Time of article published Nov 30, 2021

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Cape Town - Organisations raised R10 000 and purchased 100 pepper sprays for women who are victims and survivors of abuse in Delft.

Farieda Ryklief, of Women Impacting a Nation (WIN), said the ideology was to give women back their power while they were in abusive relationships, or survived it.

The event took place in Delft yesterday in conjunction with the campaigns and organisations: “I hear you” and the Delft Community Policing Forum.

Ryklief who partners with the CPF, runs an after school programme for children, a feeding scheme, a community garden, victim support with the services of social workers and an Early Childhood Development (ECD) under her organisation’s banner.

Ryklief said through fundraising they managed to raise R10 000 which saw them purchase 100 pepper sprays with the assistance of the organisation “I hear you”.

Donations were also made by the Kolisi Foundation.

The event took place just days after the launch of the 16 Days of Activism of No Violence against Women and Children.

The Delft CPF and Police together with Farieda Ryklief. file image

Ryklief said the emphasis was on empowerment and several guest speakers were present such members from the SAPS, CPF and women activists.

“We emphasised the need to report many cases that go unreported,” she said.

“It is a project that I have been running and I did the fundraising with, ’I hear you’.

“We managed to raise R10 000 and we purchased 100 pepper sprays. The targeted group was survivors and victims, I am saying victims because some of the women who were present, are still in abusive relationships.

“The aim was to give them back the power, our women especially.”

Ryklief said the pepper spray handover formed part of several projects they had to empower both women and children. “We are an organisation registered as Women Impacting a Nation known as WIN.

“We run a few projects and we have social services, with social workers present at the Hague Centre from Mondays to Thursdays. We also have an after-school programme, the madressa (Muslim schooling), the ECD, a community garden, a feeding scheme and victim empowerment services.

Reginald Maart, of the Delft Community Policing Forum, who was one of the guest speakers said they saluted women like Ryklief and the organisation, “I hear you”, who sought to inspire and empower women.

“I represented the Delft CPF and Sergeant Dyantyi is from Delft SAPS crime prevention. We acknowledge and salute Mrs Farida Ryklief and the organisation ’I hear you’ for their contribution to empower our women to protect themselves as Delft is number one in GBV. They have introduced the programme and train women how to use the pepper spray and motivated them to speak out.”

In a statement on Facebook, the “I hear you” campaign said: “Our day with Women Impacting a Nation (WIN) was nothing short of amazing.

“We are grateful to have met Farieda Ryklief and to have heard her moving story on how WIN came about. She is an asset to the women and children in the Delft community.”

The Department of Social Development said GBV had become a pandemic in the Western Cape.

Joshua Chigome, spokesperson for the Minister of Social Development, Sharna Fernandez, said they had seen an increase in the number of GBV cases during the pandemic.

“It’s not uncommon to hear people say ’it’s not my business’ or ’I don’t want to get involved’. While you have to consider your own personal safety, the culture of turning a blind eye to abuse happening under our noses must stop.”

Minister Fernandez encouraged women to take back their power and said neighbours of victims also had a responsibility to intervene.

“We have had instances where it was the neighbour who helped a woman escape her abusive husband. This neighbour would hear the walls rattle as the abuse took place.

“As neighbours we can give the victim a safe place to stay, if it is safe to do so while they wait for help. We can contact the police or even take the victim to the police station to get help. Your intervention could save a life.

“The challenge we face is much bigger than we want to admit, but that doesn’t mean that we cannot address it.

“If we all unite, we can address the scourge of violence against our women and children.”

Chigome showcased a table of gender based violence incidents between January 1 to November 2021, which were reported to their offices with a total of 398 cases.

Where to go for Help?

· Gender-Based Violence Command Centre: Call 0800 428 428 or dial *120*7867#

· National Shelter Movement (24-hour line): 0800 001 005

· Police: 10111

· The Human Trafficking Resource Line: 0800 222 777

· Department of Social Development Toll-Free line: 0800 220 250

· Department of Social Development Email: [email protected]

· SASSA 0800 60 10 11

Childline: 116

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