As the South African government gradually eases COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, Phola a non-profit organisation specializing in psychosocial work, mental health, narrative therapy practice and counselling is rolling out O.U.T.T.R.A.G.E.D. a Narrative Therapy framework for men and boys for prevention of Gender Based Violence.

The framework supports men and boys to collectively explore issues pertaining to gender identity and GBV in a non-threatening and none blaming way. Men and boys are given an opportunity to explore the pros and cons and the effects of patriarchy, male masculinity and male dominance.

Men and boys are not viewed as perpetrators of Gender Based Violence, but as significant contributors to bring about change.

Diepsloot a densely populated township in the north of Johannesburg is one of the communities to see the roll out O.U.T.T.R.A.G.E.D. methodology. For the foreseeable future the medium of delivery will be virtual platform for most of the planned sessions.

The dedicated Phola team is excited about this project.

President Cyril Ramaphosa in his recent address to the nation, said that the scourge of gender-based violence continues to stalk South Africa as men of our country declared war on women. One of the interventions in place is to ensure lockdown regulations are structured in a manner that woman can leave home to report abuse without the fear of a fine, intimidation or further violence.

 O.U.T.T.R.A.G.E.D. will help to facilitates conversations with men and boys on Gender Based Violence particularly now under COVID -19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing measures have caused deep concerns about their impact on women in abusive relationships.

The framework is for awareness raising, concept development and behavior change.

It will help men and boys to become community champions and agents for social change.

O.U.T.T.R.A.G.E.D. Methodology is a recent tool developed by Ncazelo Mlilo. This is an eleven-session narrative or story group approach which seeks to change negative attitudes and behavior among men and boys at risk of perpetrating violence and particularly Gender Based Violence. The participants will be drawn from local churches, non-governmental organisation, men’s forums, schools, community groups and Department of Social Development.

If you were to visit Diepsloot you come face to face with hard reality of South African poverty: a dense forest of shacks, crowds of unemployed people milling on the streets, and attempts by some at small scale commerce in makeshift shops. Men cluster in groups, throwing dice or playing cards. The place has the dull metal glow of aging zinc housing, the chaos of unpaved roads, the noise of a life lived in packed public areas, the smoke of smoldering braziers and the stench of sewage spilling into the streets.

It is stark and bare in the unrelieved dull dryness of a Highveld winter. In summer, at least in rainy summers, it is a lot brighter, greener and softer with pools of water everywhere. This is Diepsloot.

According to recent studies by Sonke Gender Justice one of South Africa’s leading gender organisation more than 56% of men in Diepsloot have raped or beaten woman in the last 12 months.

There is culture of violence in Diepsloot. There is problem of patriarchy in the community. There is a need to support men to be better partners, husbands and fathers to their kids. Also, men must have respect for women to end high levels of violence against women in South Africa.

Tackling sexual violence is exceedingly difficult. Rape has almost become normalized in Diepsloot. It affects everyone. Victims experience long term physical and psychological problems.

Phola organization’s community intervention tools will engage directly with those affected by violence and conflict. Engaging with these communities is one of Phola’s strategic focus areas

Phola Intervention Strategies

  • Outreach
  • Collaboration
  • Psychosocial support
  • Counselling
11 replies
  1. Brynne Heinrick Houlberg
    Brynne Heinrick Houlberg says:

    Hey! It is like you understand my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, just like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with some images to drive the content home a bit, besides that, this is informative blog. A wonderful read. I will definitely return again. Brynne Heinrick Houlberg


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