Crime affects us all

Bronwyn Moore, Community Cohesion

In this week alone we have provided therapeutic counselling and practical support to people, from all over Hout Bay, who have been victims of violence and crime.

In this week alone, violent crime (because violence does not
always mean the perpetrators are armed) meant that one client moved to a new place to stay, one family left Hout Bay, and one family is looking to move.

Two families are unable to move but are existing, not
living, locked in their homes.

One stopped letting his kids go to school due to general fear of what might happen to them on their way to receive an education.

One client has given up her job for fear of walking in her neighbourhood to get to that job. She has
been mugged three times.

One of those families employs 11 people, here in Hout Bay. The mother, too scared to go to work, was the only breadwinner in her family.

Another client volunteers her time and will no longer do so out of general fear.

In this week alone, people in Hout Bay have sold stolen goods and others in Hout Bay have bought them.

Perhaps the above is an indication of the other cost of a cheap phone, TV or shiny piece of jewellery.

This is not even mentioning the intense emotional trauma of being a victim of violence and crime – something that can fundamentally change a person’s world view and sense of self.

It is not my intention to instil fear with this letter. It is not another bleak, hopeless where-are-we- going rant. It will hopefully be read as another insight into the inter-connectedness of all of us in Hout Bay.

From the days of real civic activism when right-thinking people opposed exploitation, we rallied around the call of “An injury to one is an injury to all”.

My plea to everyone is think about the real or other cost of what you are buying. It affects every single one of us in this place we all call home.