Shelter house for GBV victims opens in central Karoo
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Cape Town - One of the six planned shelters for victims of gender-based violence was opened in the central Karoo at the weekend by Social Development MEC Sharna Fernandez.
Other shelters will be located on the West Coast, in Hessequa and at Heidelberg to bring the total number of shelter houses in the province to 26.
This follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the departments of Social Development and Public Works after the initial announcement by the national Minister of Public Works that six national government-owned properties in the province would be made available as safe havens for women and children.
Fernandez said the Marigold Safehouse, with the support of its non-profit organisation (NPO) partners, would be open throughout the year.
She said the newly established safehouse would admit victims experiencing physical and life-threatening circumstances, victims of intimate partner violence, domestic violence, and sexual and physical assault.
“The provision of safe spaces for victims of gender-based violence is a crucial component of the Western Cape government’s effort to ensure that there are support services for victims of gender-based violence.
“The opening of this new shelter will go a long way to ensuring that women and children who have been victims of violence and abuse in the Central Karoo area no longer have nowhere to turn,” said Fernandez.
She said the department had partnered with Families South Africa Western Cape (Famsa), an NPO that specialises in rendering family preservation services, and retail outlet Shoprite to provide emergency shelter accommodation to victims of crime and violence.
“I would like to thank the national Department of Public Works and Infrastructure for availing six properties in rural areas across the Western Cape to be used as safe spaces for victims of violence and abuse.
“I also wish to extend my sincere thanks to our NPO partners, all social workers, the NPA, the SAPS, community police forums, neighbourhood watches, communities and all other stakeholders who contribute to supporting victims of gender-based violence and ensuring that we work together to eradicate this scourge,” she said.