The gender-based violence (GBV) command centre has received close to 12,000 calls since President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the national lockdown. However, only a small percentage of the calls are actually related to GBV.
Statistics from the centre revealed that, from 1 to 26 of March, the command centre received 4,494 calls, 208 Please Call Me messages and 281 SMSes.
Only 2.67% (133) of the above were GBV-related.
From 27 March to 11 April, the command centre received 7,131 telephone calls, 1,193 Please Call Me messages and 440 SMSes.
Of these, only 3.79% (333) of the contacts were GBV-related.
The command centre was established by the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) as an urgent means to protect women and children from all forms of violence during the national lockdown.
The lockdown, which has since been extended, was implemented by Ramaphosa to minimise the spread of Covid-19. The country currently has 2,415 confirmed cases to date.
The calls received by the command centre, not related to the issue of GBV, include matric-related queries, attempted suicide, social grants, substances and general queries regarding adoption and family disputes, among others.
The calls received by the command centre, relating to GBV, include cases of domestic violence, rape, abuse (verbal, physical, economic, children and emotional), forced marriages, prostitution and abortion, among others.
In addition, the command centre has also received calls where persons were seeking relief from distress, food parcels, social grants, screening, testing and quarantine sites, to name a few.
The centre operates on a national 24 hours/7 days a week basis, where individuals will have access to social workers who are responsible for the call taking and call referral.
How to contact the centre:
Emergency line: 0800 428 428
Please Call Me: *120*7867#
Skype line: ‘Helpme GBV’
SMS line: 31531