Bringing dignity to trauma victims

Showing off a few of the comfort bags are Privi Mahkan, captain Vinny Pillay, ward 22 councilor Malcolm Hubner, Shehana Kajee and sergeant TB Nyawo.

A little dignity can go a long way.

This was the feeling after representatives of the DA Women’s Network (DAWN) visited Umhlali Police Station on Friday to have a look at the trauma centre and hand over a few comfort bags.

DAWN KZN leader Shehana Kajee said they wanted to go around the province making sure each police station has a victim support unit.

“We want to make sure that victims of rape, domestic violence and child abuse have a place they can go and the right kind of support after these traumatic experiences,” said Kajee.

“Where there is not the right system in place, we want to encourage stations to establish them.”

Captain Vinny Pillay shows DAWN KZN leader Shehana Kajee the progress they have made in getting a victim support center started.

Umhlali SAPS captain Vinny Pillay took them on a tour of the facilities at Umhlali station.
“We have a trauma centre but it is not what it should be,” said Pillay.

“We are working to get it up to standard.”

The ladies from DAWN also handed over a collection of ‘comfort bags.’

These are handbags for women who have been the victim of a rape, containing things like hygiene products, a toothbrush, new underwear and an assortment of items to help these women restore even just a little bit of confidence after their ordeal.

Six months ago an appeal was sent out for donations for a proper Umhlali victim support center and Pillay said the outpouring from the community was amazing.

“There is still a lot that needs to be done though. We are appealing to anyone who can sponsor containers that can be turned into temporary victim housing at the station, beds, clothing and – vitally, anyone who is willing to help us in the building of toilets and the like for these units.”

Contact Vinny on 073 310 0103.

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Allan Troskie

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