Vodacom cares
    08 November 2021


    Vodacom Foundation Fighting GBV: Life-Changing Calls

    These are real life stories of how the Vodacom Gender Based Violence Command Centre (GBVCC) is helping those who need it most. If you or someone you know needs support, reach out on 0800 428 428. Get help if you #SeeRedFlags 

    Physical violence 

    Can you imagine the anguish of a mother, desperate to shield her young daughter from her father’s violent outbursts? Putting a stop to gender-based violence in all its forms is why Vodacom and the Department of Social Development launched the GBVCC in 2014. 

    In this real-life account of one mother’s plight, the GBVCC was a lifeline. The mother was utterly distressed and felt helpless. Legally, she couldn’t leave with her daughter, as the abuser had opened a Child Welfare case against her in a bid to keep the child under his roof. After the mother called the GBVCC, immediate action was taken with a social worker and the SAPS brought in to assist. Through this intervention, the mother regained legal rights to remove her daughter from that abusive environment. 

    Happily, the mom and daughter are now safe, living in the grandparents’ home, where the threat of physical violence no longer looms. One call changed their lives. 

    Call the Vodacom GBVCC on 0800 428 428 if you’re worried about yourself or someone you love #SeeRedFlags 

    Child neglect 

    Silence perpetuates abuse. When the victim is a child, it’s critical for family or community members to speak up, as it can be a matter of life and death. 

    Gender-based violence isn’t the only social ill that the GBVCC deals with. The centre tackles abuse in all forms, including child neglect. This real-life account highlights the power of a single call when a child’s safety is at risk… 

    Concerned that her nine-year-old niece was being left on her own, without food, for hours while the mother frequented taverns, an aunt called the GBVCC. 

    Despite many attempts to help the mother, sadly herself a victim of physical abuse, the neglectful situation for the little girl did not change. Thanks to the aunt’s call and the GBVCC’s intervention, the child was removed from the dangerous home environment and placed safely in her aunt’s care. One call changed this little girl’s life. 

    Do you know a minor who needs help? Reach out on 0800 428 428 if you do #SeeRedFlags 


    Verbal & physical abuse 

    Verbal abuse can’t be seen, is hard to escape, and often goes unnoticed by the victim’s friends and family. It slowly chips away at the victim’s self-worth and can escalate into physical violence. 

    The GBVCC deals with thousands of calls each month, dispatching social workers and SAPS when a caller is in immediate physical danger. In some cases, as in this real-life account, the GBVCC also assists with counselling – an equally important form of action and support. 

    A woman called seeking help in repairing her relationship with the father of her three-month-old baby. His verbal assaults created a tense environment and, at times, erupted into physical violence. However, the caller wanted to remain with her partner so her child would grow up with both parents. With the GBVCC’s intervention, channels of healthy communication were opened by arranging counselling sessions for the couple, who are now better equipped to resolve conflicts. One call helped keep a family together. 

    If you or someone you love #SeeRedFlags, contact the GBVCC on 0800 428 428 today! 

    Threats of physical violence 

    Being threatened, intimidated, pushed around, and verbally assaulted – this is the daily reality for many living in a fear-filled household under the dark cloud of substance abuse. 

    The GBVCC is dedicated to ending gender-based violence and empowering victims to take back control, which is exactly what one woman did in this real-life situation: 

    Fearing physical violence, a woman called the GBVCC about her husband, an alcoholic. After dispatching a social worker, a case was lodged with SAPS. The woman was able to get a protection order and by the end of the month her husband had moved out and has not contacted her since. With our intervention, she is no longer a victim, but an empowered survivor. One call gave this woman strength to act. 

    Get in touch with the call centre if you are worried about someone you love #SeeRedFlags 

    Fighting gender-based violence together

    Vodacom is using its purpose of connecting people through technology to tackle the scourge of GBV. If you hear something, do something. The Gender-Based Violence Command Centre operates 24/7.

    • Call toll-free | 0800 428 428
    • SMS HELP to 31531
    • Send a Please Call Me | *120*7867

    Members of the deaf community can Skype the contact ‘Helpme GBV’

    The Bright Sky mobile app provides support and information to anyone who may be experiencing domestic abuse or is concerned about someone they know. Download it for Android or iOS