Gender-Based Violence | Break the silence and get support

By Natalie Schubach

South Africa has one of the highest Gender-Based Violence rates in the world

Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is a profound and widespread problem in South Africa, which occurs as a result of unequal power relationships between genders in a society. GBV is any act that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm to a person, predominately females. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), South Africa has one of the highest rates of violence inflicted on women and girls in the world.

The onset of the Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a steep incline in GBV cases in South Africa. A July 2020 survey by the Foundation for Human Rights, reported a 54% increase in GBV cases during lockdown across all provinces. Survivors of GBV experience depression and other emotional and psychological issues.

What support does Bankmed Offer?

Bankmed has benefits* that can be unlocked for members who have experienced emotional or physical trauma as a result of Gender-Based Violence.

Benefits for members diagnosed with emotional or psychological abuse:

  • In-hospital cover subject to plan benefits
  • Access to in- and out-of-hospital Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology consultations
  • Access to the Mental Health Management Programme for members diagnosed with depression (your Premier Plus Network GP will enrol you on the programme once you have been diagnosed)
  • Access to virtual, telephonic and in-person consultations with a psychologist or psychiatrist in the Bankmed network

Benefits for members diagnosed with physical abuse:

  • Ambulance services for emergencies: Call 0860 999 911 - 24 hours a day, seven days a week for access to highly qualified Bankmed Emergency Services personnel
  • Hospitalisation and associated in-hospital benefits subject to plan benefits where the abuse warrants admission

For a full description of the benefits offered, click here to access our comprehensive 2021 Benefits and Contributions schedule.

*All benefits are subject to the relevant Plan type, pre-authorisation and Prescribed Minimum Benefit regulations.

Additional Support Groups

Bankmed acknowledges the growing GBV crisis in the country and has listed a few well known support groups* below, to ensure members are empowered with a support system should they or their loved ones need guidance or immediate emergency assistance as a result of GBV.

The Gender-Based Violence Command Centre (GBVCC)

The Centre is able to refer calls directly to SAPS (10111) and Field Social Workers who respond to victims of GBV:

  • Call: 0800 428 428
  • "Please call me" facility: *120*7867#
  • Skype Line: 'Helpme GBV' for members of the deaf community
  • SMS: 'Help' to 31531 for persons with disabilities

For more information, click here.

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG)

SADAG was established twenty years ago to serve as a support network for the thousands of South Africans who live with mental health problems. For all emergency contact information please click here.

*There are a number of support associations aimed at helping survivors of GBV. These associations and above mentioned groups are not affiliated with Bankmed in any way and do not form part of Bankmed's benefits or service offering.