04 Aug FtN Talks to MOSAIC About GBV
According to our national calendar, the month of August is dedicated to appreciating the woman in our lives. When considering our statistics of gender-based violence, it seems we find ourselves in a state of emergency rather than a state of celebration. On average, 110 South African women are raped and 56 murdered on a daily basis.
Femicide is a social ill that plagues our country; our body count isn’t a far cry from the fatalities war torn countries experience.
While there are various shelters and domestic abuse hotlines dedicated to servicing the dire need for help, victims can become lost in the chasm of casualties because asylum centres are overwhelmed, poorly staffed or terribly funded. Women and children’s lives literally depend on the interventions of organizations such as MOSAIC. Not only do Tarisai Mchuchu-MacMillan, Executive Director of MOSAIC, and her team offer high response services, they support victims through healing too.“MOSAIC exists to empower survivors of domestic violence and abuse by ensuring that they become positive, and active drivers of change in their own lives,” Tarisai shares.
Personal development enables vulnerable women and children to recognise that they shouldn’t feel forced to return to violent spaces; they are liberated to explore other options.
Established in 1993, the NPO has focussed its efforts on tackling the nature of abuse. Founder, Rolene Miller, noticed that many victims were suffering in silence. Whether out of shame, or fear of consequence, too many women were internalising their trauma. MOSAIC has been dedicating their efforts and resources to piecing ‘broken’ women back together ever since.
Learning and unlearning behaviours is an imperative aspect of the healing process. Tarisai explains that, “MOSAIC strives to change attitudes about gender norms, creating a culture in which women and girls are respected as full human beings.”
MOSAIC’s commitment to physically and mentally safeguarding vulnerable women and children extends to the law too. “As part of our access to justice pillar, MOSAIC provides court support services to Domestic Violence Protection Order Applicants in Magistrate Courts in the Western Cape and Tshwane,” Tarisai states. The organisation has also formed The MOSAIC SAFE Project which works with civil society stakeholders to provide coordinated community support.
There has been a great need to continue the services MOSAIC offers, especially as COVID-19 has forced us to stay indoors. 87,000 cases of GBV occurred the first week of the national lockdown, and the cases only continue to mount. Thankfully, MOSAIC has managed to make the necessary adjustments to still offer support to individuals when necessary. Though they’ve managed to negotiate their budget, they welcome all donations.
Wouldn’t it be great to see a generation of girls raised without the threat of violence or sexual assault? “MOSAIC aims to provide services that will improve the way the survivor sees themselves, how they relate to others, and how they see their future,” Tarisai says. This goal is within our reach if we commit to financially supporting organizations such as MOSAIC, as well as doing our own part to ensure that the nature of abuse ends.