The campaign hit the road again this morning as we left Bredasdorp for Swellendam, our home for the next five nights. As we made our journey through the green scenery, we were eager to get going with the day’s events, hoping to have positive interactions with the local community as we brought our message to their doorsteps: let’s talk about rape, let’s talk about how you can get help and let’s talk about what drives rape in your community.
In Swellendam we began work on the Shukumisa Campaign with visits to the police station and magistrate’s court. We administered the checklist for the campaign to monitor whether all the correct protocols were in place and the facilities have everything needed in place to implement the Sexual Offences Act. Through this work, we are also able to reinforce our role as forming a bridge between the community and the criminal justice system by building affirming relationships with the people we work with in that system.
In the afternoon, we joined up with the South African Police Service to conduct home visits in two communities along Ring Street and High Street. These home visits really gave us a chance to reach out to different groups of people and to bear personal witness to their daily challenges. We spoke to men, women and children to gain a range of perspectives on the issue of rape and domestic violence and to explore the role they could play in its prevention. We also distributed pamphlets and information booklets to share the information that will empower them to make informed choices and to know, access and uphold their rights.
Today has been another great day for the team as the campaign continues to gain momentum. Our reach is expanding and our determination to effect change grows even stronger!
The Stop the Bus Campaign is sponsored by the Western Cape Department of Social Development.