Nondumiso Gule (l.) and Haniffa Nzama (r.) from the South African organisation LifeLine care for people affected by sexual violence in the crisis centre they have set up.

Success for counsellors of victims of violence

The young South Africans Nondumiso Gule and Haniffa Nzama, together with our partner organisation LifeLine, have established a contact point for people affected by violence at the district hospital in Escourt. There they advise and accompany victims of sexual violence in particular. Now the hospital recognizes their work and places them in a permanent position.

In South Africa, our partner organisation LifeLine can report a great success, a confirmation of its many years of qualified work in the support and care of victims of violence and rape: Haniffa Nzama (right in the picture) and Nondumiso Gule (left), two young women who completed their training as psychosocial counsellors at LifeLine, have been permanently employed by Escourt Hospital. This after two years as counsellors in the hospital, where they accompanied and cared for people affected by violence.

Recognition of good work
LifeLine has built up a crisis centre for rape victims with the two at this hospital. The hospital has now approved and advertised two permanent positions especially for this purpose, thus acknowledging the valuable work of the counsellors. The fact that Haniffa Nzama and Nondumiso Gule prevailed over other applicants with their applications is also impressive. They are now officially part of the hospital staff.

Important development work
In the rural region around Pietermaritzburg, LifeLine trains young volunteers from communities affected by violence to become psychosocial counsellors. The organization is also establishing contact points for victims of sexual abuse in other rural districts at hospitals, where they receive professional medical and psychosocial assistance.

Sexual violence is commonplace
These posts are urgently needed. Because South Africa has one of the highest rape rates in the world: every few minutes a woman is raped. Almost half of the young people under the age of 18 report that they have been raped at least once in their lives. Only a few rapes are reported and even fewer of these lead to a conviction. Although this type of violence is widespread, in many places the victims find little support - there are far too few public institutions that provide comprehensive care for those affected.

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