30/05/2017 11:24 SAST | Updated 08/08/2017 11:03 SAST

Where To Find Help If You're An Abuser And Want To Stop

"Spaces where abusers can freely go in and get help must not be completely ignored."

Gallo Images

The Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Mduduzi Manana's assault of Mandisa Duma, has again brought to the fore the always-necessary conversation around gender-based violence in South Africa.

On Sunday night, Manana attacked Duma at Cubana restraurant in Johannesburg, following an altercation over a political debate. In a recorded phone call with Duma's brother, Phesheya Duma, Manana can be heard admitting to slapping Mandisa while they were inside the lounge.

Numerous studies have indicated that it's men who are the main perpetrators of gender-based violence. In 2011, the Institute of Security Studies found that a staggering 80 percent of men surveyed in Gauteng admitted to having attacked their intimate partners.

Also largely documented have been signs to look out for if you are in an abusive relationship, and steps to take.

But, what if you are the abuser and you think you need help? Where can you go?

Civil rights organization Sonke Gender Justice says there aren't enough facilities in South Africa to help men who self-identify as abusers and want to seek help to change. "There aren't walk-in centres for example and the country's social workers are already overloaded," the organisation's Bafana Khumalo told HuffPost SA. "Psychologists and the likes are too expensive for the man on the street. So what happens is abusers go to jail and when released, repeat the crimes."

While Khumalo stresses that the country needs to urgently address the imbalances of power in gender inequality and discriminatory patriarchal practices against women, which are the root causes of gender based violence, spaces where abusers can freely walk in to get help must not be completely ignored.

However, if you are an abuser or suspect you might be and you know you need help, here are some organizations that specifically offer men help:

  1. MEDSA: also runs a programme that "assists perpetrators through the process of change". You can contact them on 011 316 0058.
  2. NICRO: offers help in the form of counselling, psychotherapy, community reintegration for men who have committed various acts of violence. You can contact them on 021 462 0017.
  3. Grace Bible Church: has recently launched a restorative programme, with the primary intention of helping particularly men who are abusers and or have abused - but who want to change. You can contact their office on 011 983 5700.
  4. Adapt: Has a men's programme that "aims to end men's violent and aggressive behaviour towards women". You can contact them on 011 440 4047/5615.

Manana has since apologised and a case has been opened with the police.