Johannesburg - The Transform Education About Rape and Sexual Abuse (TEARS) Foundation seeks to make a difference in the lives of victims of rape, sexual, domestic and child abuse by helping them access help in their hour of need.
The Sandton-based Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) was founded in 2012 and provides access to crisis intervention, advocacy, counseling, and prevention education services for those impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault and child sexual abuse at no charge.
Speaking of the work done by the organisation was office manager Charlene Roberson, who explained their areas of focus.
"We aim to assist all victims of rape, sexual abuse, domestic violence and child abuse. Irrespective of age, race, sexual orientation.
"Our main service is to connect victims of abuse to service providers within their vicinity."
Roberson explained that TEARS operated nationwide and essentially assists victims get in touch with service providers that are able to help them through the ordeal.
This includes assisting with opening a case, going to hospital as well as getting them much-needed counselling.
"We also follow up with them to make sure they are not struggling with their counselling and that [the counselling offered is] in their language," she explained.
Roberson also spoke of challenges they often came across as an organisation, highlighting one of their biggest was getting hold of police officers to assist the organisation with the cases it comes across.
She explained that this was a challenge, not because the officers did not want to assist, but because they were often overworked.
"Another challenge the people we work with find... is that most organisations (where they can get assistance) are not open on weekends and that's when most rape incidents happen."
To overcome this, Roberson explains that TEARS has made available a helpline victims can use to get the help they need.
This number is *134*7355# and can be accessed from any phone.
This helpline will then assist victims get in touch with the necessary service providers closest to them.
Additionally, those looking to get involved with the organisation can visit their website http://www.tears.co.za/; their storefinder http://tears.storefind.mobi/; on Facebook @TearsFoundationSA; on Twitter @Tears_SA or contact 010 590 5920.
"We're also launching our emergency helpline on November 24 for 16 days of activism so will also assist victims," she said.