It was late on a Thursday night when Markho* received a WhatsApp from one of his friends, Nancy*. She had been assaulted and was being held against her will by her ex-boyfriend. She had tried to get hold of the police, but was struggling to get them to her.
“Her message was very concerning,” says Markho. ”She said that the police couldn’t find her and that she was struggling to talk to them on the phone. I knew she needed help, fast.”
Markho heard about Namola on Twitter and requested assistance. He gave the Response Operator all Nancy’s details. The Operator called Nancy to see how she could assist.
“I called Nancy to see how I could be of assistance,” says the Response Centre Operator. “She told me that the police had arrived at her request but they had left because the perpetrator had left the house to go to the shop. They said that she could call them if he returned.”
Namola’s Operator however, was not happy with this situation. She knew that Nancy would still be in danger when her ex-boyfriend came back and was scared for her life. Worried for Nancy’s safety, the Operator didn’t leave it there, and went beyond the call of duty and phoned the Police Station Commander.
“The statistics for femicide are huge in South Africa,” says the Operator. “I didn’t want Nancy to become another name we read about in the papers. Not on my watch.”
Namola Operators will always go above and beyond to ensure that Namola Users are safe. They are taught to use their instincts, and if something doesn’t feel right, do something about it. In this case, the Namola Operator certainly did.
From the call that the Operator had with the station commander, it seemed that they were both on the same page when it came to Nancy’s safety. The Station Commander agreed with the Namola Operator that Nancy could still be in danger. Neither of them were willing to risk it. As soon as the cops from Nancy’s incident walked in the door, the Station Commander marched them right back out to the scene. Telling them that they were not to come back unless they had the perpetrator.
An hour later, with her ex in custody, Nancy went to the police station, where she laid a charge of assault and kidnapping against him.
“Thank you guys,” Markho says. “I really appreciate your effort. She told me someone came to her rescue. Thanks for saving her life, Namola.”
Would you want a Markho in your community? The type of person who doesn’t look the other way, but instead chooses to help? The type of person who can get you help if you can’t help yourself? We can all be the Markhos of our communities. Thanks to Dialdirect, with Namola it is so easy to request help, FREE, that there is no excuse to look away. Together we need to make South Africa a safer place to live.
*Names have been changed to protect identities