SOUTH AFRICA FORMS NATIONAL EMERGENGY RESPONSE TEAM FOR GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE

The South African Department of Social Development has launched a National Emergency Response Team (NERT) to provide psycho-social support to victims affected by gender-based violence.

Launched by Deputy Minister of Social Development Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu here Tuesday, the NERT is a mobile service consisting of social workers, psychologists specializing in trauma, as well as a professional sign language interpreter.

Bogopane-Zulu said the team was being deployed through the department's 24-hour Gender Based Violence Command Centre, and provides trauma counselling in the private spaces of survivors.

"The team will be the ones who will take full responsibility for early intervention and referral, monitor gender-based violence incidents reported in the media and deploy the team instantly, provide psycho-social support to all affected, debrief the trauma teams follow up and management of cases towards finalization and will facilitate community dialogues where there are high prevalence of reported cases as part of healing and consolidations of interventions as government," she said.

She also announced that the department was also launching an enhanced command centre which would enable hearing-impaired women and children to access the services of the centre. Eight social workers able to communicate with the hearing-impaired are expected to join the centre in December.

"We will also be launching and distributing personal alarms (memeza) linked to the command centre and the SAPS (South African Police Service) for when you are unable to make the call, the alarm will make it for you and a response team will be deployed accordingly."

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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