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City sets up 24-hour helpline to help GBV victims


Health and Social Development MMC Eunice Mgcina

Johannesburg – The City of Joburg has set up a 24-hour telephone hotline to blow the whistle on the abuse of women and children, and afford victims psychosocial support and access to justice.

In a statement the City said through the iThemba Crisis Line, designed to cushion victims of gender-based violence (GBV) against the psychological impact of the scourge, it aims to encourage people to ring in with tips about suspected cases.

Health and Social Development MMC Eunice Mgcina says the hotline aims to bring hope and assistance to women and children who may be in distress.

“Until such a time where gender-based violence and femicide are eradicated, there can be no rest,” she says.

The 0800 223 217 toll-free iThemba 24hour-Crisis Line provides emotional support; crisis intervention; tele counselling; containment of feelings and situation; 24-hour access to professional help and a network of support services.

Mayor Geoff Makhubo says gender-based violence and femicide is everybody’s business and everyone must rise to the clarion call to address this pandemic.

“GBV knows no colour or class, yet the ones who bear the brunt the most are found in the periphery of our City,” says Makhubo.

He adds that the crisis line will aid the City’s response in providing support and linkage to social support services, and also assist with safety, security, mental health and access to justice for victims of gender-based violence and substance abuse.

The 24-hour Substance Abuse Crisis Line is situated at 28 Harrison Street, Marshalltown in the Joburg CBD.

It provides an integrated and holistic focus on the wellbeing of communities, ensuring preventive and curative health services across all age groups. It forms part of the City’s strategy to eradicate substance abuse and related social ills, the City said.