A new research report has found that gender-based violence shelters are chronically underfunded.
Authored by Wits University’s Lisa Vetten, the report titled What is Rightfully Due? Costing the Operations of Domestic Violence Shelters states that shelter services are critical in disrupting domestic violence because they provide “immediate sanctuary and protection” to women and their children.
Heinrich Böll Foundation project manager Claudia Lopes (CORRECT) said research conducted in conjunction with the National Shelter Movement of South Africa (NSM) found that the Department of Social Development’s (DSD) funding to shelters varied both in provinces and across the country.
“Funding to shelters can range from as little as R5 per day to cover the practical needs of women and their children, such as food, school-related costs, transport, healthcare and toiletries, to a slightly more generous rate in other province but none which exceeds R70 per day.
Funding for shelter staff is also shockingly low. In one particular province, DSD’s subsidy towards all shelter staff was a meager R600 a month,” Lopes said.