Volunteers from the Chatsworth Youth Centre launch their 16 days of activism campaign

In highlighting the ’16 Days of Activism of No Violence Against Women and Children’ that started on Saturday, 25 November, the Nelson Mandela Chatsworth Youth Centre has embarked on a campaign to help abused women.

The campaign calls on abused women to break their silence by telling their stories. It’s the question every survivor of domestic violence is asked, by people who seem to not understand: “Why didn’t you just leave?”Violence against women is one of the great shames of our community and of the many women that live secret lives of abuse.

Divendree Govender a volunteer and counsellor at the youth centre who is passionate about this campaign explained: “We want women who are being abused or have survived an abusive relationship to tell their story. We think by telling their story it could heal their wounds and highlight the severity of the problem. Stories of women who have got out of abusive relationships can help women going through abuse feel stronger, knowing there’s help out there. We want to share these stories by keeping names confidential and not comprising the victim in anyway. You will not be forced to make your story go public. More importantly we want to help abused women by counselling and pointing them in the right direction to get help.”

Marge Angamuthu also a volunteer elaborates:”We want people to
share their dark stories of their relationship in order to correct the misconceptions many people hold about victims of domestic violence, and we want to help break the silence. The reality is that leaving an abusive relationship is often a difficult task that endangers the woman and a need for resources that aren’t always readily available. This is a strong call to action to reach out for help if you, or someone you know, is experiencing domestic violence. We want to make a difference. There are many organisations and government agencies that can help you.”

Women wanting help or those that have already left and want to tell their story can contact Clive Pillay on 061 429 2574. There’s also a meeting of organisations that help abused women on Thursday, 30 November at 10am at the youth centre.