Bothasig police and a non-profit organisation, Iris House Children’s Hospice, have set up a room in a shipping container where women and children who have been abused and assaulted can seek counselling and support.
The facility, painted yellow and blue, is at the police station, and there are books and toys inside to make victims feel more comfortable about describing their experiences to a counsellor, social worker or police officer.
“The safe space is to give the victim that warm and comfortable feeling, not to walk into a cold police station, filled with people,” said Irish House Children’s Hospice CEO Sue van der Linde.
Bothasig police station commander Lieutenant Colonel Mbuyiseli Hiki said officers at the station would be going for training to help them better support victims of abuse.
“Having our officers be there to emotionally support abuse victims who report these crimes will be such a great help to all of us,” he said.
About 30 people braved the cold and wet weather last Friday to attend the launch, including Bothasig residents, community leaders and Premier Alan Winde, who said the container had a warm and welcoming feeling and he hoped to see more of the facilities placed at other police stations across the city.
If you would like to donate any toys, books or blankets to the facility, contact Bothasig police at 021 559 9400 or Iris House Children’s Hospice at 021 9101 578.