In a significant stride towards enhancing women’s safety, hundreds of women in Daveyton have become recipients of personal alarms designed to mitigate and prevent gender-based crimes.
The distribution of these devices, emitting a 140-decibel sound, took place during the inauguration of the Memeza Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Reduction and Prevention Programme at Victor Ndlazilwane Hall on August 24.
The event witnessed the presence of notable figures, including Deputy Minister of Police Cassel Mathale, Deputy Minister of Social Development Hendrietta Ipeleng Bogopane, and representatives from diverse organisations actively addressing gender-based violence (GBV).
Powered by a five-year funding initiative by the FirstRand Empowerment Foundation in collaboration with both public and private entities, the programme aims to distribute personal alarms throughout communities.
Approximately 1,500 personal alarms were distributed during the launch event, marking the commencement of this endeavour. Additionally, Memeza is installing home alarms in various shelters across Daveyton.
Addressing the attendees, Thuli Mthethwa, Director of Memeza, highlighted Daveyton as the pioneering community to benefit from this five-year national GBV intervention initiative. The systematic utilisation of these alarms is projected to reduce both crimes and instances of gender-based violence.
Mthethwa stated, “These buttons will assist individuals in seeking help swiftly. The project pledges to protect vulnerable groups and uphold the national development plan by paying attention to quarterly statistics and crime hotspots.”
Deputy Minister Mathale urged community collaboration with law enforcement and social workers to combat crime effectively. He emphasised that addressing underlying issues like unemployment and poverty would contribute to eradicating corruption, as many instances of GBV stem from men channelling their frustrations towards women and children.
Deputy Minister Bogopane recognised the alarms’ positive impact on reducing the number of potential orphans and affirmed their distribution to various sectors since 2016, including doctors, school girls in rural areas, nurses, and victim empowerment shelters.
Bogopane encouraged attendees to report domestic violence cases, addressing concerns raised by non-profit organisations regarding budget cuts and promising further engagement.
Representing the FirstRand Empowerment Foundation, Sam Hlambela, Daveyton Mall FNB branch manager, expressed their enthusiasm for contributing to the program as an integral part of the community. He outlined the joint effort with Memeza in eradicating GBV and fostering an environment where girls can move around without fearing for their safety.
Thokozani Masilela, CPF Gauteng Chairperson, urged men to actively protect women and children actively, contributing to violence prevention. The collective engagement of the community, organisations, and governmental bodies underscores a unified commitment to fostering safety and combating gender-based violence.
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Photo: Supplied by Benoni City Times