State Advocate feels called to stand up for women and children in the sexual offences court

Ms Tracy Keen-Horak (State Advocate and case manager at the Thutuzela at Evander) considers her work a calling.

SECUNDA – Fighting for the rights of women and children is Ms Tracy Keen-Horak’s calling.

This dedicated prosecutor has been with the National Prosecuting Authority for the past 15 years where she worked her way up the ranks from District Court prosecutor to Regional Court prosecutor, to prosecutor in the Sexual Offences Court in Secunda.

She is now also working as a State Advocate and case manager of the Thuthuzela Care Centre in Evander.

Ms Keen-Horak has always been passionate about the rights of women and children and believes that the work she has been doing in relation to sexual offences and gender-based violence for the past 10 years, is a calling.

As a case manager at the Thuthuzela Care Centre, Ms Keen-Horak is involved in prosecuting sexual offence matters.

She spends a great deal of time educating and serving the community, both young and old.

She considers herself to be privileged to occupy the position she is currently in.

This allows her to impart knowledge to far more people on the ground level, in the hope of empowering them and possibly preventing them from becoming victims or potential perpetrators of sexual offences.

Maya Angelou and Mother Teresa inspire her.

“Maya Angelou through her powerful writings, inspired generations of women, African Americans and all people who struggle to overcome prejudice, discrimination, and abuse,” explained Ms Keen-Horak.

She regards Maya Angelou as a truly iconic woman and the following are some of her favourite Maya quotes:

“She learnt that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” and “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud”.

Ms Keen-Horak also admires and is inspired by Mother Teresa, who is well known for her selfless missionary work among the underprivileged.

According to Ms Keen-Horak, one of Mother Theresa’s most inspiring quotes is:

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples”.

Ms Keen-Horak always strives to empower women, both young and old, that they are aware of their rights, understand what abuse entails, and hopefully will therefore never become victims.

And if they become victims, they will through knowledge and the available assistance, become survivors.

“I believe we can enhance our country and workplace, by encouraging dialogues about sexual abuse and gender-based violence throughout all spheres of society, whether at home, schools, churches or even work places.

“We may have a positive effect on decreasing this epidemic in our country.”

Ms Keen-Horak learned that amazing things happen when a diverse group of women get to know one another and act together with a common goal.

“I experienced this when members of the TCC, Evander and stakeholders recently visited a group of senior citizens in eMbalenhle for Mandela Day and treated them to manicures and pedicures.

“What started off as a very reserved and cold welcome, became one of the most satisfying and rewarding community outreaches I had a privilege of being a part of.

“Who would have thought that washing and massaging the feet of an old lady could bring so much joy to her, and so much gratification to me.”

Ms Keen-Horak has been married for 16 years and is the mother of a 12 year- old son.

  AUTHOR
National Prosecution Authority

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