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Woodstock group helping victims of gender-based violence

Woodstock station commander Colonel van der Berg with victim empowerment co-ordinator Sergeant Teixeira, Schmidhauser’s Keegan Weyer and counselling psychologist Heather Kirkwood. Seated are Daniel Schmidhauser and Nicola Kruger. Picture: Supplied

Woodstock station commander Colonel van der Berg with victim empowerment co-ordinator Sergeant Teixeira, Schmidhauser’s Keegan Weyer and counselling psychologist Heather Kirkwood. Seated are Daniel Schmidhauser and Nicola Kruger. Picture: Supplied

Published Apr 21, 2020

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Cape Town – Police and community safety organisations play a vital role in developing support programmes for victims of gender-based violence (GBV).

This prompted Schmidhauser Electrical and Plumbing in

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Woodstock to donate comfort

packs to be shared with

survivors.

Heather Kirkwood, a

consulting counselling psychologist at Schmidhauser, with

the company’s chief executive, Daniel Schmidhauser, have put together Comfort Kits.

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These kits contain items

including a toothbrush,

toothpaste, a facecloth, body

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cream, shampoo, underwear, sanitary pads, an information brochure on rape and counselling, and a notebook, pencil, pen and coloured pencils.

Kirkwood has been a Victim Empowerment Volunteer for

18 years.

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The packs will go to the police’s Victim-Friendly Room which provides an opportunity for victims of intimate violence such as

GBV, child abuse, sexual offences and domestic violence to make

their statements in private and

in a non-threatening environment.

A team of dedicated volunteers work on a 24-hour standby roster

and offer their personal time, resources and support to victims of crime.

Kirkwood said that during a traumatic event, one of the first sections of the brain to “shut down” is the memory.

Slowly these “files” will again start to open, and additional details of the event will appear.

These details will be crucial to

the case and therefore the survivor will have the means to document them.

It is also hoped that by drawing, the survivor can start the process of healing, Kirkwood said.

Schmidhauser appealed to residents to assist wherever there was a need.

“This business has been

run successfully by our family

for three generations, on the foundation of family, care, support, kindness, community and unconditional giving,” he said.

Schmidhauser is an essential service and is operating 24/7 during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Call +27 214244588, Hotline 0800 029 999, email: [email protected]

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