Three months have passed since our 29th Casual Day campaign on 01 September 2023, and as we approach the final round-up of this year’s ‘Share A Smile’ campaign at the end of March 2024, we’re eager to share the impact Casual Day supporters have made.
A significant challenge faced by persons with disabilities who are survivors of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is the inadequacy of police resources and knowledge to handle abuse cases effectively. This is particularly true when survivors face communication barriers due to verbal limitations or neurological and intellectual impairments. Unfortunately, many cases remain unregistered, leaving survivors without the justice they deserve.
On a positive note, members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) across the country have reached out to us for support in sensitization and training. The NCPD has developed a tailored program to address this life-threatening situation, delivered by our capable and experienced team of persons with disabilities. This program not only provides theoretical support but also includes practical assistance, supporting police officers to confidently open cases. Thanks to the contributions of Casual Day supporters (R20 by R20), we’ve successfully trained 367 police officers from Northern Cape, Gauteng, Free State, and Polokwane. The impact is tangible, as complaints, via NCPDs info and helpline (called GATMEA), about the police from these areas have significantly decreased since the training.
Another vital training program, made possible by our Casual Day supporters, focuses on court preparation officers who work directly with persons with disabilities in court. Recognizing the challenges faced by officers in communicating persons with various impairments, the NCPD has trained 234 court preparation officers this year. The interactive training sessions received exceptional feedback, leading to requests for NCPD to extend this training to counterparts in other parts of the country and officers of the judiciary.
Therina Wentzel, National Director at NCPD, highlights the importance of these training initiatives, citing cases where young women with severe disabilities, with the assistance of a specially developed computer program, were able to share their stories of abuse and ultimately achieve justice.
To our Casual Day supporters, your R20 contributions are making a significant impact! Visit our website here for more information. As we approach Casual Day’s 30th anniversary next year, we promise a theme that reflects the incredible impact made possible by supporters. Thank you for helping us create positive change in the lives of GBV survivors with disabilities.