I’m lucky to be in a relationship with someone who is unbelievably good to me. He’s kind, considerate, and – among other things – he makes plenty of tea for me. I’m lucky to have someone who cherishes me and values me. And I’m lucky to be with someone who would never raise a hand to hurt me.
One of those things is not like the others, right?
Being in a relationship with someone who won’t abuse you isn’t a privilege. It’s a basic human right. But when you live in a country that has some of the highest domestic violence statistics in the world, feeling safe in a relationship does feel pretty lucky.
When you’re one of the lucky ones, it’s difficult to know how to help those trapped in abusive situations. Most cases of domestic violence go unreported out of fear or shame. Victims either blame themselves, or feel they have nowhere to go where they’ll be safe from their abusers – specially if they report them. And even in the cases that do get reported, it’s all too easy to feel powerless to help.
That’s where NGOs like Yokhuselo Haven come in. Yokhuselo is a Xhosa word, meaning “safe place”, and that’s exactly what they are. They are a safety house for women who have been victims of domestic abuse, and their children. While staying at Yokhuselo, families receive shelter, clothing, food, and transport to and from hospitals or clinics. The staff also give counselling, assist with obtaining protection orders, and help women find jobs. Families can stay up to a month – or longer, depending on their safety status – and all of Yokhuselo’s services are offered free of charge.
Here’s how you can help. As an NGO, Yokhuselo relies solely on the generosity of the public. Donations of money or any of the items on their wishlist would go a long way to keeping victims of domestic abuse safe and well, while they get back on their feet. They are always in need of computers, non-perishable foods, bedding, clothing, and children’s toys. If you’d rather give of your time, you can offer your services as a counsellor. You could also help by training the women at the haven in catering, computer skills, self defense, and entrepreneurial skills.
There’s another – very exciting – way to help Yokhuselo coming up next week. Megaphone Media are hosting The Purple Liberation Fashion Show next Tuesday, 8 August, at the Tramways Building in Port Elizabeth. Tickets are R150, and you’ll spend the night watching local celebrities strut their stuff in beautiful purple pieces, created by amazing local designers like Johan Wolmarans, Hoiden, Gerhard Meiring, and so many more. There’ll also be lucky draws on the night, where you’ll stand to win up to R7000 worth of prizes. All of this, while supporting a good cause, since the proceeds will go to Yokhuselo Haven. How could anything be better than an event that celebrates fashion AND supports such a worthy cause?
I can’t wait to attend the show on Tuesday (I just need to find a dash of purple to add to my outfit!) and I hope to see some of you there.
There are still tickets available so head to Megaphone Media’s Facebook page to book yours, or contact Jessica Preston – 081 582 2336 – or Zaanri Sharp – 082 716 5243. For more information about Yokhuselo, check out their website.
If you, or anyone you know, is trapped in an abusive relationship, I urge you to contact Yokhuselo Haven. You deserve to be in a safe space.
Contact: Lindsay Ziehl
Cell: 072 478 0054
Telephone: (041) 581 4310
FAX: 072 478 0054
Monetary donations can be made to:
Acc. Name: Yokhuselo Haven
Branch: Cape Road, Port Elizabeth
Acc. No: 1263034470