Note: names of people have been changed to protect their identities.
Kim is a 27-year-old unemployed woman who resides in Elsies River within the Cape Flats. Kim has a daughter of 10 years-old, which she receives a child support grant for, and they live with Kim’s mother who receives a disability grant. On weekends Kim’s mother would consume alcohol and lash out at Kim. One weekend when this had happened again Kim’s daughter happened to be present during the altercation at which time Kim’s mother threw a glass at Kim and it hit Kim’s daughter in the face right above her eye. Kim then rushed with her daughter to the Community Health Centre where they treated her daughter. The nurse then asked Kim how her daughter came to having this injury as she could smell the alcohol on the child’s clothing. Kim then explained what had happened and stated that 3-years ago her mother was in a relationship with a man that would physically beat her mother almost every weekend and once even touched Kim inappropriately when her mother was ill. Hence, because Kim feared the man’s behaviour and how it impacted her daughter and mother’s well-being, she confessed to her mother what he had done to her and stated if he does not leave, she will report him to SAPS and press charges against him. Since then, her mother was bitter about how the relationship came to an end and blamed Kim for it.
After hearing Kim’s story, the nurse informed Kim about Touching Nations Victim Empowerment Programme (VEP) that renders free therapeutic counselling and educational workshop services focusing on victims of Gender-Base-Violence (GBV) and Victims of Crime and violence relating to abuse and trauma. As Kim left the consultation room Kim’s mother ran toward her and Kim’s daughter crying and apologising profusely. This then led Kim to do a walk-in intake at Touching Nations where she was greeted at reception and the intake was done by the programmes Social Worker. There Kim explained why she believes she needs counselling services. The social worker expressed to Kim that perhaps her mother is also in need of services as her mother had also experienced abuse and because of it, possibly uses alcohol to cope with the trauma. Kim agreed that she will ask her mother to attend family counselling sessions and if need be, have individual sessions in-between to help her family, as well as; refer her daughter to an appropriate child protection organisation for counselling. Kim and her family are still undergoing counselling services. Kim is happy to report that she had updated her CV, the relationship and environment at home has improved and that she and her family are taking matters one day at a time.
Kim’s story could have been so different. So, like Kim we need to know that it is okay to want to change our circumstances, reach out and ask for help. Should you wish to make use of our services, be it therapeutic counselling or educational workshops, please contact us via email on email@example.com, call us at 021 224 0983 or Whatsapp us on 066 463 4028 during office hours (Mon-Fri.: 08:00-16:30).
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