Prior to Lockdown, with roughly a week’s warning, when the President announced that the Covid-19 outbreak has been declared a national disaster, we had to ensure that urgent cases were seen and that the FCS Police officers we work with had the contact cell numbers of social workers and active Directors to assist with any queries.
Regarding our Court cases during this time; the courts will only be hearing Bail applications and conducting postponements. Of course this will cause a lot of disappointment and frustration for those who are waiting for their trial to start and those whose cases had already been postponed. We will be assisting these families with getting new dates from the Prosecutors as some have reported that the telephones at some courts are not being answered.
Unfortunately we expect that once we reopen, hopefully on the 17th, there will be many children needing our help. The increase in physical abuse could occur due to the increased stress, financial demands and worries families face during this lockdown. Sexual abuse would arise from children being literally locked in the home with the abuser and the other adults in the home not stopping the abuse and not reporting for a number of reasons; either they themselves are also being abused, have no other home to go to, or they disregard the signs because the possible perpetrator is a family member they know and trust. The sad reality is, that those are exactly the people we need to be watching. 90% Of sexual abuse occurs by someone the child knows and trusts. No one is exempt, not even the closest, most beloved family member.
NGO’s rely on the support of Government, Corporates and individual support and fundraising initiatives.
As our country is currently in lockdown and many companies, be it for profit or not for profit, are restricted from providing their services. This has resulted in a lot of employees being retrenched and some companies completely shutting down for good.
Our Clinics work mostly with chronic cases of abuse, meaning the abuse has been going on for days, weeks, months or years and the child has only recently been safe enough to disclose it or it has been discovered and reported. We will then help with providing long term psycho-social services as well as prepare them for their time in court, which means we are not first in line when it comes to emergency services.
Our core Clinic services will resume as soon as the lockdown is over. We were very fortunate to receive a supply of groceries and cleaning products from a large retail chain just before the lockdown, which we have now distributed to the communities in which our clinics operate.
You can play a role in supporting WMACA in a few ways, such as sharing our news updates, sponsoring some of our services and encouraging friends and family to do the same.
Our wish list for the clinics consists of non-perishable food items, stationary, cleaning products and comfort packs which every child receives when coming to our facility.
We rely on Fundraising events such as Golf Days, Walks/Runs all of which are now not happening. In addition to this we have the support of corporates and Government funding as well, but corporate funding may now be at risk, if companies need to support their staff instead.
If you are in a position to financially contribute towards our organisation that would be very much appreciated. All donations entitle you to a Section18A tax certificate.
WMACA supports the call to stay at home and #FlattenTheCurve of this virus so that we can save the people of South Africa from a National disaster.