The Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, conduct a walkabout and update members of the media and stakeholders on the work of the Gender Based Violence Command Centre (GBVCC).
The work of the centre is central to the implementation of the President’s Emergency Action Plan (Five Point Plan) on GBV in terms of the provision of psychosocial care and support services to victims and survivors of GBV.
Minister Zulu will be joined by the Minister Responsible for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities in The Presidency, Ms Maite Nkoana Mashabane.
Established in 2013 as part of the Programme of Action to Combat Violence against Women and Children (2013 2017), the centre provides a 24 hour, 7 days a week toll free psychosocial care and support service, including referrals and a direct link to appropriate services for victims and survivors of GBV in South Africa.
Since its establishment, the centre has received global recognition for innovation and service excellence. Key amongst these is the Changing Lives Award (AfricaCom Awards, 2014), Annual Contact Centre World Top Ranking Performer Award (2015) and the Best Technology Innovation Award in 2015.
The centre has also been a host to a number of foreign delegations who visited it for study and benchmarking purposes.
Callers to the centre can be assisted in any of the 11 official languages. In addition to the Toll Free Line (0800 428 428), the GBVCC has an SMS helpline (SMS Help: 31531) for text messages and Call Me Back function on *120*7867#.
In line with the White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the centre caters for persons with speech and hearing impairments through Skype (Add ‘HelpMe GBV’). The GBVCC website address is: www.gbv.org.za
The centre is managed by qualified social workers who provide victims and survivors with immediate counselling and information on available services. A key feature of the GBVCC is its geolocation technology, which enables social workers to identify the caller’s exact physical location and directly links them to the nearest service points such as police stations, healthcare facilities or shelters.
As at the end of March this year, the GBVCC had received 68 434 calls, 7 759 Call Me Back Messages (USSD) and 382 SMS. This is a significant increase in the volume of calls received by the centre as compared to 376 received in its first year of operation.
To improve the operations of the GBVCC, future plans include shortening the toll free number to make it simpler and easier to remember and make contact as well as to reduce the caller’s effort in accessing the centre.
Source: Government of South Africa