Unfortunately, one of the most common times women experience violence (also called domestic violence or gender-based violence) is during pregnancy. This violence is often from their male partner, husband or boyfriend, not from a stranger. Talking about violence in the home is very difficult and it is not a subject that should be discussed if you as a mentor are not comfortable with it.

The support group might be the first time many women get to talk about violence or abuse that they have experienced, and if they do, your job is to believe what they say and give them information about where they can get professional advice. Remember that you are not a trained counsellor or doctor so you are not qualified to give a medical opinion and that you should not give your personal opinion to participants.

As a mentor you are not trained to tell your participants how to cope with a violent relationship, but you can refer them to people who are qualified and who will be able to assist them. 

One organisation who can help is POWA: People Opposed to Women Abuse - 011 642 4345/6.  LifeLine also offer a counselling service which can be contacted from anywhere in South Africa on 0861 322 322.

Example SMS:

Many South African women experience abuse and rape.  You can call LifeLine on 0861 322 322 for counselling advice and support.

If your relationship is stressful, think of who in your life could support you.  You can talk to friends, family and Khuluma participants.

Violent relationships are common in South Africa.  If you need help and advice call LifeLine in confidence on 0861 322 322.

Do you know someone in a violent relationship, or do you want help or information?  Call 011 842 4245 in confidence.

Women in South Africa experience abuse and violence every day but they are also survivors.  Tell your motivational story to the rest of the group.