Independent Online

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

How Saartjie Baartman Centre helped save abused Miss X

The Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children (SBCWC) provides essential, cost-free services to abused women and children, 365 days a year. The SBCWC has been hard hit by the reality of shelter (for GBV victims) underfunding by government. It has now started a given gain.com campaign to raise R650 000 during the 16 days of activism campaign to keep its doors open. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency

The Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children (SBCWC) provides essential, cost-free services to abused women and children, 365 days a year. The SBCWC has been hard hit by the reality of shelter (for GBV victims) underfunding by government. It has now started a given gain.com campaign to raise R650 000 during the 16 days of activism campaign to keep its doors open. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency

Published Dec 3, 2021

Share

CAPE TOWN - Like millions of women around the world, Miss X endured many years of various abuses from her spouse, and was isolated from her friends and family.

Like far too few women, she is able to receive assistance in gaining her independence and providing for three of her children who still depend on her.

Story continues below Advertisement

From the Cape Flats, Miss X first sought refuge at the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children (SBCWC ) in Manenberg six months ago, and has since become an active member in giving back through volunteering in the kitchen, running the shop and looking after 10 children of working mothers.

Her journey to recovery from nearly 20 years of abuse started when a gun was pulled to her head.

Miss X said the trigger jammed, she believed God intervened at that point.

Story continues below Advertisement

“I thought ‘this is where it stops’, and no more. If I don’t do it for myself, how can I do it for my kids?

“That is where I took the liberty of deciding for myself. I can tell you, it wasn’t the wrong decision.

“I have grown stronger spiritually and emotionally. Physically I am much stronger than I've ever been before.”

Story continues below Advertisement

In the past Miss’ X spouse would toy with her emotions, and she said she felt alone and ashamed.

“You are too shy to let people know what your circumstances are, but I’m glad that God led me to a person who told me that ‘you don’t need to tolerate it’.”

As the largest privately run shelter in the country, the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children is a one-stop support haven, providing essential free services including a 24-hour crisis response programme, a residential shelter programme,and a psycho-social support programme.

Story continues below Advertisement

Miss X had worked in education for several years, and was referred to the centre by the Western Cape Education Department - a decision she says she is grateful for.

Her children initially stayed with her at the centre, and for schooling reasons have been taken into the care of a relative.

She said she was grateful that she had their support as well.

“The counselling at the Saartjie Baartman Centre is tremendous, they’re always there even for the smallest thing.

“If you’re down they’re always there to lift your spirits.

“I accomplish a lot here. Things I needed to do on the outside but couldn’t, I am able to do here.

“I’ve done courses I never dreamed of doing. I’ve got First Aid courses, home-based courses and IT courses.

“Spiritually I’ve also gotten closer to God than I’ve ever been.”

* Miss Xs name has been changed.

During this 16 days of Activism, the centre is calling on all South Africans to help us to raise R650 000, 00 to ensure their sustainability.

To donate visit https://www.givengain.com/cc/saartjie-baartman-centre-for-women-and-children/

The centre can be reached at 021 6335287 and centre director, Bernadine Bachar can be contacted on 083 307 1110 or visit saartjiebaartmancentre.org.za

* Miss Xs name has been changed.

Cape Times

Related Topics:

Dont Look Away

Share