More of the working class, middle to higher living standard citizens have reported cases with the Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse (SWAGAA) during this Covid-19 lockdown period.
This is normally not the case on a regular day when the unemployed are the ones that often seek the organisation’s services.
SWAGAA’S Communications and Advocacy Officer, Slindele Nkosi attributed the shift in clientele profile to the amount of free time available nowadays while forced to be confined in the same space with their perpetrators or abusive situation.
“Before the lockdown, people under this profile were able to hide their pain, fear and anger behind their make-up, expensive suits, cars and executive desks while engrossing themselves with work but now they’re forced to face the “demon” they have been hiding or ignoring all along,” she said.
Nkosi noted that statistical data collected indicates that most abuse occurs at home and is perpetrated by people one loves and trusts; family members.
During the lockdown; SWAGAA working with UNICEF has created a free SMS platform where the public may join by firstly sending the word “SWAGAA” to the number 8500 then follow the prompts with the last message confirming their membership as “U-Reporters”.
“From there, they can report their cases that they are either experiencing or witnessing and one of SWAGAA’s counsellors will respond. All this is free and reporters remain anonymous,” explained Nkosi.
- The organisation is also available for one-on-one counselling sessions on a partial opetational basis following Covid-19 regulations.