COMMUNITY RECEIVES VICTIM FRIENDLY SUPPORT CENTRE
Responding to a call from members of the local Loeriesfontein community, the two Loeriesfontein wind farms, have launched a victim support facility. This much needed facility will provide a safe and secure environment for post-incident counselling and care to community members who have been victims of violence and abuse.
“We are most grateful for this Victim Friendly Facility, which will be used to stabilise and support victims of domestic violence and to provide a safe environment while victims are in the process of reporting cases. It is especially encouraging that the facility can be utilized for victims to use over night, when their own homes are not safe to be at,” said Captain Du Plessis, Loeriesfontein Station Commander.
In an address by Northern Cape Premier, at Dawid Kruiper Park, in Upington, Sylvia Lucas, drew attention to incidents of gender-based violence. She not only called for all sectors of society to oppose any form of violence committed against women and children but pleaded for society to support survivors. She also previously cited statistics that showed a significant increase in gender violence since the beginning of 2017 and urged society, and especially men, to join hands in combating the scourge.
“Whilst the facility supports all victims of crime, we are acutely aware that violent crimes disproportionately affect women and girls,” explained Vanessa Fredericks, Economic Development Manager for Loeriesfontein Wind Farm.
Loeriesfontein and Khobab Wind Farms in partnership with both the Northern Cape, as well as the local Loeriesfontein, South African Police Services (SAPS) and Department of Social Development, included the training of local community members as lay-counsellors to augment and support the local police services in the treatment and care of victims of violent crime and abuse.
Accredited training has been provided to the lay counsellors, to ensure that they are adequately trained and equipped to assist community members and their families, while also providing skills development and employment. Studies show the importance of receiving timely counselling to help treat symptoms related to violent crimes and abuse, helping victims to manage symptoms such as shock, confusion, numbness, depression and anxiety,” added Fredericks.
Loeriesfontein and Khobab Wind Farms have provided funding for a converted container structure, to the Loeriesfontein SAPS, to serve as infrastructure for the victim support facility. This allows for counselling to take place within the facility, as well as acting as a temporary overnight haven, should it be required. The Victim Friendly Facility is fitted with plumbing, sanitation, electricity, furniture and household contents.