Victim Support Room re-launched in Pinelands

Right: John Berry, chairman of the Pinelands Community Police Forum (CPF)

Pinelands SAPS hosted the re-launch of its Victim Support Room at the station on Thursday December 15.

John Berry, chairman of the Pinelands Community Police Forum (CPF), said the room had been launched on an ad hoc basis in 2003 and that they officially launched the room in 2010.

“I credit the great work done at the victim support room to the dedicated personnel that have opted to give of their time to support victims of crime. As a society, we need to look after our women and children,” he said.

Andrew Anthony, chief operating officer (COO) of Business Against Crime, said our constitution ensures our safety and security but that was very different from what many experienced.

“Those who have not been victims of crime fear crime equally as those who have been. It’s a sad reality that these crimes are worse in poorer communities. The re-launch of the room is recognition of victims of crime,” he said.

He urged victims of abuse and crime not to remain silent as that only benefited the perpetrators of crime. Quoting American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr, he said: “We cease to exist, if we keep silent about things that matter.”

Pinelands resident Beverley Adams thanked the Victim Support Room for the help they afforded her son and friends after one of their peers committed suicide.

“Evalo van Wyk played an important role in helping them come to terms with the suicide. She did an individual group assessment and allowed them to speak openly about their feelings.”

She said Ms Van Wyk had helped the boys to become “more in touch” with their feelings and in the end helped their mothers to become self-aware and tackle issues that they were dealing with in their households.

The upgrade was made possible by a donation from a local business and during the event, Lieutenant Colonel Helena Mouton, station commander of Pinelands police handed over certificates to volunteers at the Victim Support Room.