A women empowerment group founded in 2019 has now partnered with 16 Cape Town police stations to help fight gender-based violence and provide victim support.
Benje Vermaak, CEO of the non-profit corporation SA Women Fight Back (SAWFB), said they began by starting a group on Facebook and since now have over 200 000 followers online.
“We gave ourselves a three-year plan, which consists mostly of unifying all GBV groups and partners.
“We are all fighting towards a safer country for all, there is no reason we should do this alone.
“We are always pleased to form partnerships with both male and female groups and individuals.”
Some of the police stations that have partnered with the group include Bellville and Muizenberg, but Benje says that the group's aim is to reach more areas all over the country.
“SAWFB isn't based anywhere, we have volunteers across the country. We do struggle to reach the smaller communities.
“We are always grateful for more volunteers, it makes it possible for us to fight harder for justice and safety.”
The group’s current project is providing victims of abuse with care packages, which include a change of clothing, sanitary items, educational pamphlets and toys for children: “One of our long-term goals is to open our own Safe House. There can never be too many safe houses, especially when GBV doesn't seem to be slowing down. So many women leave when it's too late, or don't even get out at all, because they have no place of safety to go to.”