Govt called to boost funding and resources for gender-based violence shelters

The government is not doing enough to ensure adequate provision of shelters for abused women in South Africa.

This according to research findings from a three-year project by the National Shelter Movement of South Africa (NSM) and the Heinrich Boell Foundation’s (HBF).

The project found that there is not sufficient political will to prioritise the protection of vulnerable women in the country.

Researcher Lisa Vetten compiled a costing report for the project and says that gender-based violence (GBV) shelters are underfunded, especially in Limpopo, North West and Free State.

The Department of Social Development currently funds 140 shelters for gender-based violence, she says.

However, research shows that only half of those shelters actually accommodate women escaping domestic violence.

Vetten says SA needs more shelters that are better resourced and that the President and government must be held to account.

According to Vetten, shelters with funding and resources are able to actively help women find employment and reduce the burden on other state services.

Very few people have a good understanding of what shelters do.

Lisa Vetten research associate at Wits Institute For Social Economic Research (Wiser)

We do owe women a Constitutional right to safety, protect to their dignity and physiological integrity.

Lisa Vetten research associate at Wits Institute For Social Economic Research (Wiser)

More than half the of women who go through shelters do not return to their [abusive] partners, this reduces the future use of courts, policing and health facilities. This is a saving of money.

Lisa Vetten research associate at Wits Institute For Social Economic Research (Wiser)

You are also reducing children's exposure to violence.

Lisa Vetten research associate at Wits Institute For Social Economic Research (Wiser)

Listen to the conversation on The John Maytham Show:


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