Abuse victim launches empowerment trust

The trust was launched at the weekend in Bulawayo,

A BULAWAYO-BASED victim of sexual and physical abuse, Judith Gavaza, has launched a women empowerment organisation — Dawn of Hope Trust — to offer psycho-social support to females who endured similar ordeals.

The trust was launched at the weekend in Bulawayo, with Gavaza saying she felt compelled to set up the organisation after realising that most victims suffered in silence as there were few institutions to provide counselling services.

“The motivation was my own life, my own personal experiences. I am one person who experienced sexual abuse as a child between ages of five and eight and I also experienced physical abuse firsthand. When I went for ministry training, that’s when I really found myself,” she said.

“I also realised that I am not the only one who has gone through these horrible circumstances and I have to be there, just to help them, stand with them and take them from being victims to victors.”

The event saw a total of 68 women from peri-urban areas such St Peters, Methodist, Mazwi and Robert Sinyoka graduating after completion of counselling lessons.

Gavaza revealed that women eagerly took the opportunity to learn and acquire counselling skills.

“Whoever gets an opportunity to learn three or four things, they really become addicted; they want to do it more and more.

“Like with these women who graduated today, we have been with them for the past 18 months teaching them and empowering them because our motto is ‘putting back together broken pieces for a better being’,” she said.

Ward 17 councillor Sikhululekile Moyo lauded the initiative saying it was important for women victims of abuse and addiction.

“These are very significant strides in our communities; we appreciate what Dawn of Hope has done in our communities.

“As the ward 17 councillor, I have seen that women in peri-urban areas face different forms of abuse, but they do not speak out.

“Therefore, I am confident that after these teachings we are going to have champions that are going to stand up against abuses of women and young girls,” Moyo said.

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