The Randburg Victim Empowerment/Trauma center is a non profit, volunteer driven center with focus on supporting the victims of crimes such as rape, abuse, molestation, child abandonment and victims of violent crime such as murder, armed robberies, violent housebreaking, assault and emotionally distressed victims of violent crime and other crimes that causes trauma to victims. The Victim Empowerment Center forms part of South Africa’s National Crime Prevention Strategy. Randburg VEC was formed around 1998. The center is manned by volunteers who have received training in the processes of trauma counselling, and is managed and governed by the Randburg Community forum, the civilian oversight body of the Randburg SAPS.
Their trauma Councillors are all volunteers, who give their time – and often, money – to offer sanctuary to victims of crime. These professionally-trained women are called to horrendous crime scenes where they assist SAPS by offering support and counselling to those in distress. They work under highly-emotive conditions that would destroy most of us in a very short time.
Their Experienced Trauma Councillors are on call 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. They operate from a small office in the SAPS Randburg station, with only the basic of amenities available, as this service is totally reliant on sponsorship. Victims of abuse – women and children - are often brought to the office with nothing but the clothes they are wearing. The Trauma staff provides clothing, food, toys and money to assist them to cope until a more permanent solution can be found. In addition, the SAPS Randburg Trauma Centre not only serves beyond the Randburg borders, but is used by other areas that don’t have such services. Our Trauma Centre has won awards, and our Councillors are asked to give workshops and train other volunteers at a variety of Police stations.
The main benefactor of the Trauma Center has been affected by the economic down turn and their Head Office overseas has terminated this generosity with immediate effect. This leaves the Center in dire need of funding. The Trauma Centre needs support URGENTLY, and the CPF Randburg has been tasked with sourcing them. R20 000 per month provides enough to cover basic running costs. It also covers food, clothing and monetary support for the victims, plus sundries such as pamphlets printed on reporting abuse that are distributed at schools and in shopping centers, for example. The CPF recognises that it is difficult for one sponsor to provide the total monies required; however, sponsors could choose to supplement a particular need, or give whatever financial assistance they can afford. Careful records are kept by the Trauma Unit, and the financial records are governed by the CPF treasury, and are available for viewing by sponsors whenever requested.
The chairperson of the Randburg Community Police forum, Hennie Oostuizen soke to Xolani Gwala in detail abot their daily challenges and what the Trauma /Unit needs.
Very often we don't think of the impact crime has on the victims, we offer a crucial service but we can't do it alone.— Hennie Oosthuizen, Chair of Police FOrum
Lynette Saltzman from The Dis-chem Foundation heeded the call to help, and donated R120 000 for the Randburg Community Police Forum's project; Randburg Trauma Center and explained to Xolani Gwala how they're in a position to help.
We have to thank our customers because it's them that put us in a position to be able to help.— Lynette Saltzman, Dis-Chem Foundation
Watch a short video below of how the Randburg Trauma Center operates.
Listen to the conversation between Xolani Gwala and Dischem Foundation's Lynette Saltzman and Hennie Oosthuizen, Chairperson of the Randburg CPF Business unit below about this donation and how it will help going forward.