Reaching Out Domestic Violence Suport Desk & Community Empowerment Programme

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The organization was established in 2006 and for the past 4 years has grown from strength to strength, with a client base covering over 3 communities in urban, peri urban and rural areas (Richards Bay, Empangeni, Esikhaweni, Mzingazi, Kwambonambi). Over and above these areas the organization opens its resources to all abused persons.

Reaching Out was founded by Pamela Govender. Whilst serving in the South African Police Service Govender became aware of high incidence of domestic violence in the area. She began researching the problem in the area over a period of 30 months. Govender observed that children in the homes where domestic violence was prevalent suffered the most since there was no help for them. Often these children would perpetuate the cycle. Domestic violence was really not understood by the community. Out of the findings of her research Govender created a model to help manage and prevent domestic violence. Unable to implement the project while working as a member of the South African Police Service but confident that the establishment of the organization would have an impact on reducing the incidences of domestic violence as well as provide the much needed support victims required, Govender resigned from her career as a Policewomen and started to establish the Reaching Out Organization.

The organization adopts a holistic, non-discriminatory approach and provides services to victims, perpetrators/abusers as well as secondary victims irrespective of gender, race, culture, creed or sexual orientation. Reaching Out networks with service providers such as the legal fraternity, the South African Police Service (SAPS), doctors, psychologists, social workers and other organizations to provide expertise and professional consultation to adequately deal with and manage domestic violence.

Mission Statement:
The Reaching Out organization seeks to address the issue of domestic violence in a way that is effective, sustainable and holistic. The organization strives to reach as many abused individuals as possible, inform as many people as possible about the prevention of abuse, and raise awareness in communities and sectors about domestic violence. The organization is working towards breaking the cycle of domestic violence.

Our Vision
We are striving to create a society where the human rights of each individual is respected where communities are free of domestic violence and abuse thus ensuring that we have more citizens that are able to contribute positively to society.

We hope to contribute to our ideal society and build stronger communities through the following Programmes:

– Victim Empowerment: Assisting and empowering victims and survivors of domestic violence. Educating them on their rights, options and resources available to them. Assistance with referrals for specialized services and access to Government services for victims. Making access to information and assistance easier.

– Sustainable Development and Employment Creation: Developing survivors of domestic violence and vulnerable females through skills development and assisting with creation of employment.

– Advocacy and Out Reach. This is accomplished through ad hoc projects programmed into the Organization events calendar, which are aligned to significant milestones and events globally and in South Africa.

Through our constant research on the trends of domestic violence in a around surrounding areas, new resources available etc we are able to develop publications, write articles for local media, make presentations at schools, businesses, organization thus ensuring that the community is kept up to date and can adopt a proactive stance to dealing with domestic violence and the organization continues to improve and provide excellent service.

Projects under the various Programmes.

Victim Empowerment:
– Advice and Support Desk Centre
– E mail assistance and Telephonic Assistance
– Website

Sustainable Development and Employment Creation:
– Economic Empowerment of female survivors of domestic violence and poverty alleviation
– Mentorship Programme.

Advocacy and Out Reach
– Information sessions:
– Awareness programmes
– Calendar events
– Creation of pamphlets
– Media Articles
– Monthly Newsletter

some of the critical factors identified that promote domestic violence in the area:

– Poor and limited service delivery, in some instances victims were not even aware of the limited services that were available.
– Lack of information available, difficulties experienced by victims or the community in accessing information.
– Due to the lack of awareness of domestic violence victims rights were often violated, secondary victimization often occurred. Some victims were not even aware of their rights.
– No education available that any form of abuse is not acceptable
– Perpetuating the cycle of violence. Learnt behaviour in childhood.
– Non availability of a confidential supportive environment for victims where they can receive practical assistance as well assistance with understanding the various legal processes or the completion of legal documents.
– Lack of economic empowerment for victims and survivors.
– Lack of support structures i.e. shelters, support groups, etc
– Abuse in the home was viewed as a normal way of life. Domestic violence was believed to be a family matter.

What REACHING OUT has done thus far to address to some of these critical factors:

– Implemented a specialized service for victims and survivors of domestic abuse and violence.
– We monitor other service providers and address situations of poor service delivery
– Through our community awareness initiatives and use of various media resources we try to educate the community on domestic abuse and violence and the effects it has on children. We stress on the aspect of learnt behaviour.
– During our interactions with abuser we challenge ideas learnt in childhood.
– In homes where domestic abuse or violence is prevalent we educate parents on the effects thereof on the children. We assist with referrals for children to receive counselling.
– The support desk provides a supportive and confidential environment for victims whereby their needs for emotional support, need for information, assistance with completing documentation etc are met.
– Economic empowerment: Reaching Out has tried to address this by undertaking the following initiatives, assisting with maintenance applications, implementing the economic empowerment project for female survivors of domestic violence.
– Although there are no safety shelters available for victims of abuse the organization has been able to via a Protection Order successful motivate to have perpetrators removed from the home to allow the victim and children to remain there thus preventing further trauma or abuse. Families are also encouraged to support the victims.
– To break the cycle of domestic violence the organization has also started to educate youth about domestic violence in dating relationships.

Operates in: Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal
Established in: 2006

Non-Profit Organisation Number: 047-553
Public Benefit Organisation Number: 930028863
Section 21 Company Number:
Trust Number:

Contact person: Pam Govender
Phone: 035 789 9111
Fax: 086 550 1946
Physical address: Lira Link Street, Haiti Mall, Suite 7, Richards Bay
Postal address: P O Box 80243, Richards Bay, 3900

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