According to South Africa's 2016 Demographic and Health Survey, on average, 1 in 5 women older than 18 in South Africa has been victim to physical violence.
The 5th goal on the UN’s list of sustainable goals is specifically targeted at addressing gender equality because of the ongoing discrimination and abuse that women and girls all around the world are still subject to. Not enough is being done to tackle this issue in South Africa.
Vodacom has long been an advocate for gender equality. The company partnered with the department of social development in 2014 to launch its gender-based violence command centre. The centre provides counseling and, with their permission, pinpoints the location of the caller to identify police stations and hospitals around them. The command centre represents the first technology of its kind in social delivery in South Africa.It operates a national call centre facility that’s open for 24 hours daily.
To date, the centre has received more than 300,000 calls and more than 150,000 texts and Please Call messages that subscribers can use to send urgent messages free of charge.
The centre operates an emergency line number on 0800 428 428. It is also supported by the Call-Me-Back facility through *120*7867#. A Skype line called ‘Helpme GBV’ and an SMS-based line for persons with disabilities (SMS ‘help’ to 31531) also exists.
The entre works with the South African Police Service to ensure that calls receive priority and can be escalated to a police station nearest to the victim where necessary.
Share the details about the Gender-Based Violence Command Centre on social media to encourage women are victims of physical abuse to get free help.