Safety At Home Now A National Conversation

There is nothing like a national tragedy to divide people and there have been several heart-rending cases of abuse of women in the news lately, some high profile, some lost in the deluge of such incidents in our country. The ill-treatment of women, often by their partners, is now top of mind and in the national conversation.

This is probably one of the only positive aspects about the high profile cases for me, as they have brought into sharp focus the scary prevalence of the abuse of women and children in South Africa. It has also brought to the fore the question of how do we stay safe when the danger is right inside our homes?

How do we stay safe at home?

Keeping ourselves safe at home is paramount, but this is so difficult when the person that inflicts the abuse lives in your home. Short of using your passage or bedroom security gate to shut out an enraged, drunk or drugged-up man, how DO you keep yourself and your children safe at home?

I’m no expert, but my guess is that empowerment is a positive step in the right direction. There are lots of places to look for help, but we can’t always find them in a panic. When you are definitely not feeling safe at home or anywhere else, you need people to call that know how to help.

One of the most useful websites to look for assistance is Lead SA. They have a great list of people and organisations to contact when you need help, from Rape Crisis to Crimeline. Find them and put the numbers you might need into your cell phone.

Physical solutions to safety at home

Other, small changes may also help us stay safe at home. How about fitting sliding barriers to windows instead of fixed burglar bars? At least then, if you have some warning of a dangerous man in the house, you can escape through a window. Am I being unrealistic here? Please let us know your opinion.

If you live in Gauteng, why not visit the Trellidor stand at the Homemakers Expo at Coca Cola Dome this week and take advantage of the show specials to sort out your home security? It’s a good opportunity to improve your safety at home, whether it’s against threats from outside or within. Visit our website for more details.

Contributor: Lindy Barry

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