LIFESTYLE

Please Step In And Let Young Women Like Theresia Know Where To Get Help

It's a complex matter, but help is available.

12/07/2017 10:57 SAST | Updated 12/07/2017 10:57 SAST
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Season 4's debut of Please Step In summed up in a tweet:

Twenty-one-year-old Theresia Mashaba wrote into the show asking for an intervention. She said she was involved in transactional relationships to get money to survive, money her mother would ask her for.

While these situations are complex, here are a few places young women in Mashaba's situation can reach out to for help, emotional and otherwise - because no young person's circumstances should force them to sleep with men to survive:

  • Lifeline offers free, confidential telephone counselling, rape counselling, trauma counselling, Aids counselling, and a range of other services - 0800-012-322.
  • Childline offers ssistance from trained counsellors for abused children, young people, and their families - 08000 55 555.
  • Child Welfare South Africa is for child protection and child care and family development. Neglect or abuse of a child can also be reported here - 0861 4 CHILD (24453).
  • People Opposed to Women Abuse (Powa) offers Gauteng-based organisation offering shelter, counselling and legal support to women in abusive relationships, rape survivors, survivors of incest - 011 642 4345/6:
  • Stop Gender Abuse offers crisis counselling for women who have been raped or abused, advice and support for people wanting to support women in need of help, legal and other options available for abused women and rape survivors - 0800 150 150:

It was also revealed on the show that Theresia was raped at 15 - by her stepfather - and her mother asked her to keep it quiet. The case was later withdrawn.

Any abuse victim has rights, and if you know of someone who has been abused, here are their rights and places they can go to for help.

And although the urgent intervention required for such cases requires a multi-stakeholder approach, it's always heartwarming when South Africans rally together and offer to help: