Pretoria, November 5, 2015 – The Department of Social Development’s Gender-Based Violence Command Centre (GBVCC) – a 24-hour call centre dedicated to providing support and counselling to victims of gender based violence – has been named the Best Technology Innovation – Small Centre of the world at the Global Best Contact Centre Awards in Las Vegas on November 5.
As the Gold Medal Winner, this means the GBVCC is ranked number one in the world in its category.
This adds to three other highly acclaimed service awards the GBVCC has won since its launch in March 2014 – the Innovation Award in the Contact Centre Management Group (CCMG) awards, the Changing Lives Award in the Africom Awards, as well as the Golden Award won in the Technological Innovation Awards in London.
Minister for Social Development, Ms Bathabile Dlamini, says the international recognition of the GBVCC communicates the South African government’s commitment to fighting gender-based violence to the rest of the world and places the country at the lead of international best practice against gender-based violence.
“We launched the Command Centre as part of our service delivery improvement programme aimed at responding quicker, more effectively and innovatively to social challenges in the country, Project Mikondzo. Being recognised for best technology innovation in the world confirms that we are on the right track and it inspires us to work even harder to find inventive ways of responding effectively to the social challenges in the country.
“The award comes just a few weeks before we launch the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children 2015 Campaign and emboldens us to work harder to eradicate violence against women and children. We express our thanks to the organisations who have partnered with us in making this project a reality,” said Minister Dlamini.
The GBVCC uses mobile technology to estimate the location of a victim, assign the closest social worker in the field to the case, and record and receive continuous feedback on the case. When a caller contacts the GBVCC from a mobile phone, they are (with explicit permission) geographically located, enabling the Centre to determine the resources nearest to the caller, whether it be a social worker, a police station, a hospital or safe house. In this way, help is dispatched in quick fashion.
The toll free number to call to speak to a social worker for assistance and counselling is 0800 428 428 (0800 GBV GBV). Callers can also request a social worker from the Command Centre to contact them by dialling *120*7867# (free) from any cell phone.
The GBVCC emanated from the work of the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on the Root Causes of Violence Against Women and Children – chaired by Minister Dlamini.
The IMC was established by President Jacob Zuma in May 2012 to reinforce political leadership and accountability in the national prevention and response to the rising figures of sexual violence in our country.
The membership of the IMC comprises of the Ministers of Justice and Constitutional Development; Women; Home Affairs; Police and Basic Education. Through the GBVCC, the work of this Committee is certainly contributing towards the improvement of the country response to and prevention of sexual violence.
ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT in South Africa
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