GRIP declares digital defence on sexual assault

As a way to educate the public and raise awareness regarding issues related to sexual assault, GRIP has enhanced its services by reaching out through social media and its website.

According to Christi Jackson of the organisation, its aim is to educate members of the community on what sexual assault is and how they can get help. Jackson said April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and the organisation saw fit to reach out through one of the most used platforms, the Internet.

“In light of this, we have revamped our social media and website to create awareness. We also provide helpful tips to those in need. “We share information to help the public understand how to deal with the unfortunate situation of finding themselves as a victim of sexual assault,” she said.

GRIP helps thousands of survivors of rape and domestic abuse, from young to old. The organisation depends entirely on donated funds and fundraising initiatives.

Its projects include assisting survivors. It also provides care packs and various forms of assistance to those who have been raped, from the moment they arrive at the police or hospital until the prosecution process has ended.

Jackson said they are currently running two programmes in the Mkhondo and Albert Luthuli subdistricts of Gert Sibande called Stepping Stones and IM Safer. “Stepping Stones is an initiative for sexual, reproductive health communication and relationship skills. IM Safer is aimed at helping young girls to talk down a bad situation, physically break free, get away and get safe,” she said.

These programmes run concurrently with their regular interventions at the courts, police stations, shelters and hospitals.

“We are proud to announce that we have two ambassadors in Bushbuckridge and Lydenburg to raise awareness regarding the campaigns,” she said. The organisation recently had to move from its offices in Ehmke Street back to its initial premises in Anderson Street.

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