Authors tell story of domestic abuse

Lieutenant-Colonel Mike Grobler, of the SAPS gang task team, with two of the authors of the book ‘Women Surviving Lavender Hill’, Sheila Jacobs, left and Veronica Kroucamp, at yesterday’s event
Picture: Werner Hills

Two abused women who grew up on the Cape Flats told their story yesterday at a 16 Days of Activism event hosted by the police’s Mount Road cluster.

At a luncheon at the Boardwalk Convention Centre, Sheila Jacobs and Veronica Kroucamp, two of seven women who penned the book Women Surviving Lavender Hill, said they believed speaking out about abuse was vital.

The Mount Road cluster had invited residents from the northern areas as this year’s 16 Days event centred on problems associated with gangsterism and abuse, which are prevalent in parts of the northern areas.

Police spokeswoman Priscilla Naidu said domestic violence brought far more pain than the visible bruises and scars.

Jacobs and Kroucamp said the seven authors of the book, who grew up in Lavender Hill in Cape Town, were all survivors of domestic abuse.

“They not only experienced an immense amount of abuse, but lived in an area that was gangster-ridden,” Kroucamp said.

“There is a lot that the book talks about – from how these women rose above what they were going through to how the sons of Lavender Hill were for a long time forced into gangsterism.”

Jacobs said she hoped the book would effect change.

“We hope it will encourage victims of abuse to not succumb to their situations but to speak up because there is always someone who is willing to help.”

Motherwell cluster commander Dawie Rabie said: “I believe that the activism should be 365 days.

“This is a continuous awareness campaign as we also have an education phase that starts at the very bottom and teaches schoolchildren about abuse while they are at school.

“By teaching schoolchildren about abuse, we’ve now seen a surge in the number of cases reported.”

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