Thabisile Miya, July-Aug 2008: Counselling a Suicidal, HIV- Positive Client

I made a home visit to a nearby farm on 15th July after a telephone call from a neighbour who reported that someone was trying to commit suicide. We talked her out it and asked her why she wanted to take her Counsellingown life. She told us that the father of her children is staying with another woman and that he is not supporting their children. She recently tested positive for HIV and her boyfriend is accusing her of infecting him with the disease.

Counselling was done and we advised her to apply for maintenance and told her that it was not the end of the world that she is HIV-positive or that her boyfriend has left her. She was happy with our support and advice and promised to continue living for the sake of her children.

 "They have lit a lamp in the dark places in our lives." 

-  Respondent, 2007 Evaluation

Sibongile Masondo, Jan – Feb 2008:

Mother Suicidal about Family Abuse, Domestic Violence and HIV

A 25 year old woman came and reported that she is being abused by her mother and stepfather. She has five children, two of whom had passed away. The abuse started early when she was 13 years old. She started to stay with boyfriends at the age of 13. Her sisters were also sleeping all over the place.

The client said that her mother was also abusing her children. She has even thought of killing herself and her children. My client is HIV-positive. She decided to take her children away but she has nowhere else to stay. One of her children is not receiving a grant and the other was injured in an accident and is mentally disturbed. She just wanted a place to stay.

I counselled my client and advised her not to kill herself because she must look after her children because they need her love. I advised my client to stay with her children and to speak to the councillor because he will be able to find a site for her.Charge desk

I also advised my client to claim from the Motor Vehicle Fund for her child’s accident at the Department of Transport where there are people to help her to claim free of charge. I told her that the process is quick.

I advised her to go to the hospital where her child was delivered to ask for an immunisation card for the child. They would check the records and write a new card. She could then apply for a birth certificate at the Department of Home Affairs.

My client appreciated the fact that she could share her problems with me because she had not known what to do or where to go.

Dumisile Ndlovu, September 2008:

Counselling a Woman inCounselling inmate Prison for Manslaughter

On 4.09.07 the police captain called me to his office. He told me about a 23 year old woman in a cell who was showing signs of committing suicide. She had been charged with murder. He asked me to give her counselling. At first the client was very quiet. She did not even like to look at me, but I stayed and tried to speak to her. She started crying and I wanted to leave. She asked me to sit down and then agreed to come to my office.

She said the problem started when she got a job at a factory. She was receiving threatening calls on her cell phone from unknown people who seemed to know everything about her. On her way home, she was confronted by a group of women and grabbed by one of them, who asked her why she was running away. She did not answer. She was beaten up and her bag was taken.

She went to the police station but the officer said he could not assist her and referred her to the Magistrate’s Court. She went and was told to come on the following day, a Thursday. It was a very busy day at the court and she was referred to Social Welfare for a protection order. There was no member of Social Welfare to be found, so she was not assisted.Counselling Client

She said that she was very angry that no one helped her. She received more threatening calls on her cell phone from a woman who told her that they were sharing a boyfriend and she was very scared and went to the shop and bought an okapi knife. She then went to the shop to report that she had lost her lay-buy slip with her bag.

She asked a couple she knew to walk with her when she went to and from work. One day she finished her job late and the couple had left. On her way home she saw these people, one of whom had beaten her up. She did not know them, but they seemed to know her. She walked faster but they followed her.

She said she thought they wanted to beat her again as they did the day before. She said that she became very angry and went straight for the woman who had beaten her, with her okapi knife. She said she stabbed the woman once and she died instantly.

She cried. She said it was a shock. It was as if she was drowning and was getting up out of a dream. After that she screamed and people came and stood around her. She could not believe that she had killed a person. The police came and took her away.

I gave her counselling. She is 23 years old but looks like a 16 year old. I felt very sorry for her because she tried to avoid what had happened, but no one had helped her. One of the police officers said he thought that she had been assisted. I bought some magazines for her. I advised her that when she makes her statement she must state exactly she knows and what happened.

On Friday 14th September she went out on bail and I was very happy for her. I contacted her and counselled her over the phone.

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