South Africa has one of the highest incidences of domestic violence in the world. And, sadly, domestic violence is the most common and widespread human rights abuse in South Africa. Every day, women are murdered, physically and sexually assaulted, threatened and humiliated by their partners, within their own homes. Organisations estimate that one out of every six women in South Africa is regularly assaulted by her partner. In at least 46 per cent of cases, the men involved also abuse the children living with the woman.
Founder and leader of the Halo Project, Yasmin Khan MSc, is determined to extend the reach of Halo’s training and support specific to domestic violence related issues and seeks to put a stop to female genital mutilation, honour-based violence and forced marriages whilst supporting victims who have experienced such atrocities.
United Kingdom charity The Halo Project will be meeting with the South African Department of International Trade next week to address the crisis of violence against women in the country and help create a sister charity in Johannesburg. Government Advisor, Founder and leader of The Halo Project, Yasmin Khan MSc, seeks to put a stop to female genital mutilation, honour-based violence and forced marriages whilst supporting victims who have experienced such atrocities.
Having worked in the field of equality and diversity for over twenty years, Khan is known as a progressive thought leader in the fight for women’s justice.
She said: “Violence against women in South Africa has reached a level of national crisis, and we’ll be working with the International Department of Trade to help set up these deeply trusted avenues of protection and support. We see our invitation from the South African Government as a positive step and one which we truly welcome.”
Since its launch in 2011, The Halo Project has provided support and advice to tens of thousands of individuals and organisations and helped over 1,600 individual victims in and around the North East of England flee from violent, life-threatening situations. In 2019 Halo began consulting with the Welsh Government. Khan and co-director of Halo Project and Nazir Afzal OBE its Patron, are starting to make significant strides in the prevention of violence against women in Wales.
The collaboration between the Halo Project and South Africa’s International Dept. of Trade is set to kick off during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, a global campaign to raise awareness and challenge violence against women and girls.
Khan continued: “The 16 days of activism will bring the suffering of so many women across the globe to the forefront. The work we do is only a drop in the ocean of what needs to be done, but we will continue to fight for justice for each and every women who is suffering.” Yasmin Khan (Founder of Halo) and Claire Preston (International Director) are returning to Johannesburg November 24th - 26th to launch the programme and host some training workshops, which will coincide with the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
“We want Halo Africa to become the flagship of the Halo Global model and to launch on this notable day in Johannesburg in November will send a very strong message of collaboration and hope”.
South Africa’s set of human rights are hailed as incredibly progressive, given that their constitution is one of the youngest in the world – therefore proven interventions if embedded now will have an impact today and in the future.
Underpinning the model to support and protect women and to help with recovery are literacy skills. Language and communication skills are vital if women and girls are to grow and succeed.
All women deserve the right to feel safe empowered and educated. Communication and literacy are key for anyone in life, as literacy provides the foundations for access to so much more and without a doubt, either affects or limits life chances.
From our experience that by supporting women’s language development and communication skills they feel more confident and independent- they feel like they have a voice.
Halo Voice has been developed to encourage and support women to improve their language and literacy skills and give them the confidence that they need to access education and improve employability and independence.
Through specific instruction, basic literacy skills will be developed and verbal communication improved.
Once women are equipped with literacy and communication skills Halo delivers a suite of proven education courses which are delivered to accelerate recovery
The following suite of training programmes can be delivered using Train the trainer models, equipping those at the front line to better safeguard and support women. All have evolved and been informed by women’s’ trauma and abuse, developed through the 1:1 support delivered by Halo and through continuous survivor consultation and external independent evaluations.
Women survivors of illegal harmful practices (IHP) such as, female genital mutilation (FGM), honour based violence (HBV) and forced marriage (FM) are increasingly accessing charitable front-line support services. Unfortunately, specialised services that provide focused therapy are difficult to access. Traumatology research has mainly been the focus of Clinical Psychology; however, women who have experienced IHP deserve critical attention of Health Psychology research.
For over 3 years Halo has successfully developed, delivered and accredited Halo Hope, a 6-weekcommunity education programme for BME women victims which is delivered by multi-lingual tutors. Whilst Halo Hope has not been designed nor marketed as a perpetrator programme it has demonstrated the ability to raise awareness of abusive cultural behaviours and DV/SV crimes and importantly it has been effective in changing mindsets. Positive outcomes have included increased feelings of safety, health and wellbeing and an understanding by victims of abusive violent behaviours the have experienced and the impact of these crimes on themselves and their children
The next stage is to introduce training for those working with young males and influencing change with regard to attitudes and domestic violence.
Early intervention approaches to working with perpetrators contribute positively to protecting the public and minimising harm to potential victims.
The Halo Project, South Africa project will change lives and provide recover tools through community education programmes. Delivery by women, for women providing a platform for change influenced by victims and survivors of cultural harms. Let’s change the language and eliminate violence against women and girls, be part of the change, become a Halo Ambassador.
Halo Hope Programme – An innovation tool to empower women suffering from Forced Marriage, Honour Based Abuse, FGM and those at risk.
A unique 6-week community education programme has been piloted in the North East of England which reduces the risk of crisis intervention for victims who are at risk of and/or have experienced Forced Marriage, Honour Based Abuse and FGM.
The Halo Hope Programme meets the gap in existing programmes for victims of abuse from specific communities. The six-week structured programme examines the types of cultural abuse women and girls encounter, it helps formulate coping strategies for those at risk so that they seek help at an earlier stage of intervention.
The course enables women to move on with their lives and consider safety options available to them. It provides coping strategies which allow them the opportunity to be listened to. It will enable women to gain knowledge and skills, which will help them to make informed choices so that they can protect themselves and their children.
The Halo Hope Programme is recommended by the Association of Police & Crime Commissioners and the Forced Marriage Unit in the UK. Graduates of the Halo Hope Programme have used this course as a stepping- stone to freedom, a corridor for reaching their potential.
Culturally informed by survivors and designed by a professional Health Psychologist, Exhale aims to teach self-help and wellbeing coping mechanisms to victims, specifically those who have physical and mental health issues resulting from the trauma they have endured.
Health results from course attendees show marked improvement in trauma recovery and in a shorter time-frame.
Is an 11-module Perpetrator programme, a cultural first in the UK and designed to be delivered to perpetrators of harms including HBV, FM and FGM. Developed with The Police and UK Ministry of Justice the modules cover topics including:
For further information please contact us
If you or someone you know is at risk of domestic abuse in South Afica and would like further information, advice and guidance please contact POWA :
Head Office: Berea, Johannesburg
Postal Address: PO Box 93416, Yeoville 2143 Johannesburg
Telephone: 011 642 4345 / 6
WhatsApp: 060 400 0669
Fax: 011 484 3195