The TEARS Foundation has shared an important reminder as part of the #16DaysofActivismAgainstGBV campaign—that they are here to help, support, and guide any survivor, no matter what:
South Africa (04 December 2023) — Until 10 December, the 16 Days of Activism Against GBV (gender-based violence) campaign echoes across the world. But for the TEARS Foundation —who have provided support for victims of abuse for over ten years—it is a time to ring the bell of their daily message even louder: help is the start of healing.
With years of experience as women-led helpers and healers, TEARS has provided direct support to more than three-quarters of a million victims of abuse across South Africa. While these numbers are heart-shattering, the impact of their help is a lifeline that cannot be understated.
Because GBV is so personal, for many, speaking out and asking for help can feel like a mammoth task—especially when it’s hard even to process what has happened. Society has gaslit victims for so long to accept or doubt certain behaviours. So, for many, sharing their experiences (no matter the circumstances) is incredibly difficult.
For this year’s 16 Days of Activism, TEARS’ Act Now initiative hopes to amplify awareness around GBV by reminding anyone who has gone through what no one should have to, that they are people who are here to help, 24/7.
It has three main focuses:
- Take action
- Speak out
- Seek help
Not to mention, the Act Now initiative is also about knowing that there is strength in using one’s voice, and they are the ears who will always listen.
For Mara Glennie, the Founder and CEO of the NPO (who has gone to great lengths to keep her foundation going) knowing that there is help is critical. But, so is challenging pervasive norms which starts with listening to women.
However, the TEARS Foundation is not just about offering help. Their mission is also about victims being heard, reassured and embraced with understanding; reminding every survivor of their rights, and that they, are always entitled to be safe, respected and free.
What The Foundation Does
TEARS offers multiple services that are free of charge. One award-winning service connects victims with their nearest emergency shelters, and refers victims to medical facilities while sorting out legal documentation for prosecution.
“TEARS also follows up with the police on behalf of victims who have case numbers, gives victims advice on applying for protection orders, and guides women and men on leaving abusive relationship, says Mara.
Through the Act Now campaign, TEARS wishes to remind all survivors that its services are readily available, even in the darkest moments of uncertainty.
“Our helpline is more than a mere number—it symbolises a commitment, a refuge and an enduring source of support that goes beyond immediate pain. We believe you—make the call, access our resources, and help yourself.”—Mara Glennie.
More Services From The Foundation
- Individual counselling
- Individual, group and couples counselling
- Support groups
- Volunteer opportunities
- Linking victims to emergency shelters
- Referring victims to medical facilities for access to Antiretrovirals, the morning after pill, antibiotics for possible STDS, blood tests, internal medical exams, A J88 for court purposes
- Police follow-ups
- Advice on protection orders
- Referring child victims to child-friendly facilities
- Guiding women and men on leaving abusive relationships
You can access or share the free helpline number *134*7355# or 010 590 5920 or contact email@example.com for any information you need.