Durban NGO that cares for sexually abused kids robbed twice in three months

By Thobeka Ngema Time of article published Sep 8, 2020

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Durban - One of KZN’s biggest human rights organisations which works with and helps sexually abused children has suffered its second robbery in at least three months.

Over the weekend Bobbi Bear’s office was ransacked and almost everything the organisation needed was stolen.

Three months ago, six bicycles for the children were stolen from the Bobbi Bear home.

On Sunday night, Bobbi Bear’s office (victim friendly centre), which is situated right next door to the front of a busy police station was ransacked and everything they had was stolen, except for one litre of milk.

Operation Bobbi Bear broke the news on their Facebook page on Monday.

“Everything we have was stolen, tea, coffee, sugar, milk, oh sorry they left, us one litre of milk with a koki message. Rape bags for the children, toys, and extra clothes we keep for our rape victim’s etc. Even the aircon was taken off the wall and smashed,” they wrote.

They asked how was it possible that the robbery took place, especially when the office was “right next door to the police station charge office door, with a guard at the gate, and no one heard or saw a thing, I am heartbroken”.

They said they were there to help the community and children with the little resources they had.

Bobbi Bear founder and director Jackie Branfield said they try not to get down because everyone was suffering but they served the poorest of the poor.

“We actually feel that we take two steps forward and five steps back. It really demotes us,” said Branfield.

She said she took what happened quite personally because it took them a very long time to build up a victim friendly centre.

“Why ransack the place? We understand you wanted clothes and blankets, we don't condone it, but we take it personally,” Branfield said.

She also said she was sad for the ladies who worked in the victim friendly centres, who only received a stipend for the hard work they did.

The ladies also took what happened personally because they were the ones who went out and worked hard to get donations.

“Here we are trying to help with gender-based violence but nobody saw anything,” Branfield said.

Police said: “According to Amanzimtoti police, no incident was reported and no case was opened.”

Since the Facebook post, they have received offers to assist from community members.

They made another Facebook post with a wish list of the items they used daily.

In the post they also said, “I know it is long but anything on there is truly appreciated. We pack various bags for our rape victims and always keep second hand clothes and shoes, because whatever clothing a victim had on during the rape is bagged for forensics. Once again thank you to our wonderful community for their care and support always.”

About three months ago, six bicycles were stolen from their garden shed which was made out of concrete and had a gate. They even had video footage of the incident.

Branfield said the children were beside themselves because they were the ones who used the bicycles.

However, Branfield said the Toti community banded together and bought six new bicycles for the children.

Daily News

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