The Department of Social Development will on Tuesday launch a 24-hour call centre to provide support and counselling to victims of gender-based violence.
The toll free number to call in order to speak to a social worker for assistance and counselling is 0800 428 428 (0800 GBV GBV). Callers can also request a social worker from the Command Centre to contact them by dialling *120*7867# (free) from any cell phone.
The Command Centre will be symbolically launched soon after Human Rights Day, commemorated in South Africa annually on March 21.
According to the World Health Organisation, between 40 and 70 percent of female murder victims are killed by their husbands or boyfriends in South Africa.
The South African Police Services (SAPS) further reports 175 880 crimes against women and 66 387 sexual offences were committed in 2012/13.
These are the shocking statistics, which prompted the department, in partnership with Vodacom Foundation to pilot a 24-hour call centre dedicated to provide support and counselling to victims of gender based violence.
The Command Centre will allow social worker agents to provide telephonic support and counselling and can direct the victim’s case to a social worker in the pilot areas.
The pilot areas are in Gauteng (Hillbrow, Moroka, Sunnyside, Akasia, Alexandra) and KwaZulu-Natal (Edendale and Inanda).
Vodacom has invested R4.2 million for a period of six months to help cover the cost of the information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure and expertise to customise the call centre for the purpose of handling calls from victims