“When I ran to the bathroom, locked the door behind me thinking I would be safe, he would kick a hole through that door and come through...I had to be obedient because I didn’t want to end up dead.” With these chilling words commences a video on the provision of shelter for abused women. Watch it here...
In his 2018 budget speech, Minister Gigaba emphasised the need to “lend a hand in addressing society's most pressing challenges”. Among a myriad of social challenges facing our country are the ever-present, persisting rates of violence against women and children. Shelters play a critical role in providing women with reprieve from domestic violence - women who, by and large, are economically disenfranchised. It is with this in mind, that the minister's budget must be interrogated.
Social protection is an important safety net for the poor yet not all will benefit from this. Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba recently announced government’s plan to increase its spending on social protection from R193.4 billion in the next financial year to R223.9 billion by 2021. Civil society organisations, however, questioned if this commitment to social protection will include sufficient funding for non-profit organisations, including shelters that provide services to vulnerable women and children who fall victim to domestic abuse.
While February is widely regarded as the month of love, statistics suggest that for this month alone approximately 84 women may be murdered by someone they [had] loved. Recent research by the HBF and NSM reveals that shelters are an effective strategy to the prevention of intimate partner violence, with less than a quarter of women returning to an abusive partner, yet, research has also found that serious funding gaps significantly undermines the efforts of shelters.
While government has set minimum standards for shelters housing abused women, it fails to offer adequate support to uphold these requirements. The Weekend Argus recently spoke to some shelter managers and survivors of abuse to shed more light on their experiences of providing/accessing shelters.
Yesterday, the Equal Education Law Centre (EELC) secured a significant judgment in the Supreme Court of Appeal relating to the burden that single parents, particularly single mothers, face when seeking to ensure access to education for their children. EELC’s client, Michelle Saffer, struggled for more than 6 years to secure a vindication of her rights - her courage and tenacity has paved the way for greater certainty and clarity for parents in her position. The Women’s Legal Centre (WLC) entered the case as a friend of the court, highlighting the impact of the current fee exemption scheme in fee paying schools on women who are similarly placed as Ms Saffer and the manner in which the current framework discriminates against women.
Through a journalist fellowship associated to their “Enhancing State Responsiveness to Gender-Based Violence: Paying the True Costs” EU-funded project, HBF and the National Shelter Movement of South Africa raise awareness of domestic violence and the importance of shelter services to survivors. In this article, Health E-News citizen journalist Lindiwe Msibi, tells the story of one courageous woman who survived being shot and stabbed by her abusive husband and how she, and her children, found the reprieve they needed through various shelters for women.
In this article, Health E-News citizen journalist Ndivhuwo Mukwevho, reports on the services of Limpopo-based Thohoyandou Victim Empowerment Programme and their concerns about the increase in murder and other forms of violence committed against women in the community. On average the organisation attends to 120 new cases of domestic violence, mostly related to intimate partner violence, and 40 rape cases a month. This article is one of several being produced through a journalist fellowship to raise awareness of domestic violence and the importance of shelter services. The fellowship is associated to HBF and National Shelter Movement of South Africa's “Enhancing State Responsiveness to Gender-Based Violence: Paying the True Costs” EU-funded project
HBF and the National Shelter Movement of South Africa, through a journalist fellowship, have partnered with Health E-News, a television and print news service, to raise awareness of domestic violence and the importance of shelter services. This partnership is associated to the “Enhancing State Responsiveness to Gender-Based Violence: Paying the True Costs” EU-funded project. In this article, citizen journalist Ndivhuwo Mukwevho, shares the story of one rural woman’s experience of domestic violence and her wish to inspire others to break the silence on abuse against women.