‘Slut list’ teen getting help after suicide bid

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‘Slut list’ teen getting help after suicide bid

As viral list destroys lives and families, focus shifts from finding its authors to assisting its victims

Journalist

A teenager who tried to commit suicide after her name appeared on a “slut list” in Cape Town will receive psychological assistance.
Last month, when the list of 31 children was shared on Facebook and WhatsApp, residents of Atlantis allegedly marched to her house because they thought she was the author.
It became too much for her, said concerned parents of the victims, and she was hospitalised after injecting herself with a high dose of insulin.
Now a non-government organisation that has worked for the provincial social development department will assist with psychological help.
The South African Faith and Family Institute was due to meet the 14-year-old on Wednesday to assist her in dealing with the trauma. The organisation will meet parents of the other victims at the weekend.Due to the parents’ persistence, police have launched an investigation into the “jintoe list”. Jintoe is slang for slut or prostitute. The list details alleged sexual escapades of 31 children.
A mother who spoke to Times Select on condition on anonymity said the journey had been difficult for everyone.
“We have had one meeting with police. All mothers are anxious and we are the ones who have taken action,” she said.
Another mother said the list has destroyed her marriage. Her 14-year-old appeared on it, causing unbearable tension in the family.
“I talk to my daughter every day. Yesterday school started and she has many extramural activities, so that keeps her busy, but she needs counselling,” said the second mother, who explained that tension between her and the husband was only adding to the child’s anxiety.Since the list was made public last month, parents have been trying hard to find the authors but their focus is now shifting to getting the necessary counselling for their children.
“We are deeply troubled about this list and its profoundly devastating impact on the already traumatic situation the community is living in – surviving the institutional and structural violence deeply embedded in the legacy of apartheid,” said the executive director of the Faith and Family Institute, Elizabeth Petersen.
“Our presence is to add value in strengthening the capacity of religious leaders and faith communities as they assist individuals and families afflicted by gender-based violence in intimate relationships, homes and in the community.
“We continue to do what we can together with the other stakeholders to advance hope, healing and transformation in the continued work of affirming the dignity of the people in Atlantis and other Cape Flats communities.”Petersen said helping all the affected people on the list would have to be done in collaboration with other stakeholders and organisations.
Social development MEC Albert Fritz said he was “personally” monitoring the situation and would ensure victims’ needs were met. His department has worked closely with Petersen’s institute in the past.
With regards to the child who attempted suicide, he said: “She must be under suicide watch. The grandmother has assured that the girl is okay and that counselling will help her.”  
The list has gone viral in Atlantis and, since the start of the new school term, on Tuesday teachers and principals have been discussing it with pupils.

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