Minister Fernandez launches two GBV shelters in Garden Route
On Friday, 27 August 2021, the Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Sharna Fernandez, launched two newly established safe houses: Protea House for Women and Peonies House for Women.
The official launch of these two safe houses in the Garden Route is the fifth and sixth opened in the space of a year by the provincial Department of Social Development (DSD) and its Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) partners for victims of gender-based violence in the Western Cape.
The opening of these shelters comes after the initial announcement by the National Minister of Public Works on 4 March 2020, that six National government-owned properties in the Western Cape would be made available as safe havens for women and children.
"At the beginning of the year, we were funding 19 shelters for victims of gender-based violence in the Western Cape. Today, I am pleased to announce that we are now funding 25 safe spaces.
The establishment of these two new shelters, along with the four shelters opened for victims of gender-based violence earlier this year, comes at a time when the need for these services is rising sharply, as indicated in the crime statistics released last week by the SAPS.
We need a whole of society approach– including employers, corporates, civil society, men and boys – to support us, as we strive for gender equality and the elimination of gender-based violence! We must all commit to playing a role in eliminating the social injustices women experience daily because of actions by men. In the Western Cape alone1724 cases of sexual violence were reported between April 2021 -June 2022, compared to 990 cases of sexual violence during the same period- a 74 per cent increase.
The provincial DSD has partnered with MOSAIC Training Service and Healing Centre to combat abuse and gender-based violence. MOSAIC will lead the charge in rendering emergency shelter accommodation to victims of crime and violence and their children in the Garden Route and surrounding regions.
The criteria to be admitted to both safehouses located in the Garden Route are as follows:
• Experiencing physical & life-threatening circumstances
• Victims of intimate partner violence
• Victims of Domestic violence
• Victims of Sexual & Physical Assault
• All denominations, races and cultures
"I would like to thank the National Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) for availing six properties in rural areas across the Western Cape to be used as safe spaces for victims of violence and abuse.
I wish to take this moment to extend my sincere thanks to our NGOs, social workers, CPFs, NHWs, communities and all other stakeholders.
Thank you for your contributions to supporting victims of Gender-based Violence and, by doing so, helping us in our fight against the scourge of Gender-Based Violence!" added Minister Fernandez.
"Every woman or child violated is one too many. By working together, we can have #Onevoice united against gender-based violence- 365 days of the year", concluded Minister Fernandez.
For more information:
We would also like to remind the public that the Gender-Based Violence Command Centre 0800 428 428 is accessible 24 hours a day, to assist with GBV cases.
We urge the public to access credible information on https://www.westerncape.gov.za/department-of-health/coronavirus
For more information about our other services, please refer to the Western Cape Department’s Website below or contact us on our hotline number on 0800 220 250, to be connected to your nearest local office.