In light of anticipated increases in levels of gender-based violence (GBV) in connection with COVID-19 related restrictions and the corresponding lack of GBV services and ability of victims to access those services, LvA launched a large scale door to door awareness campaign to increase community awareness of rights, legal remedies and available services in cases of GBV
Prior to beginning the campaign, LvA facilitated training for 22 volunteers on GBV including types of violence, available legal remedies and support services for victims and COVID-19 including transmission, prevention, and procedures to follow when conducting outreach to ensure the safety of all volunteers and community members.
In June, LvA staff and volunteers began conducting two door to door campaigns per week. During each campaign, volunteers split into pairs for safety reasons and systematically engaged community members on a single street, either in their homes, shops, stalls or on the street, before moving to the next street. When engaging with community members, volunteers introduce the purpose of the campaign and share information regarding COVID-19, GBV, legal rights, remedies and available support services. Volunteers also engaged community members regarding the lack of post-rape medical care in the community and invite community members to sign the petition for these services. Lastly, Volunteers answered any questions and distributed printed materials with relevant information and contact details. At the end of each day, volunteers debriefed with LvA staff regarding any challenges encountered that day or any new questions which emerged.
To date, they have reached 4,780 community members throughout Diepsloot with information about their rights, legal remedies and available support services in cases of GBV and COVID-19.