UPDATE: National GBV Command Call Centre Report | Western Cape Government

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UPDATE: National GBV Command Call Centre Report

30 November 2021

Gender-based violence (GBV) has become the ‘Shadow-Pandemic’ due to its serious threat to the safety and well-being of especially women and children in the Western Cape.  As we continue to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have also seen an increase in the number of gender-based violence cases.

GBV refers to any type of harm that is committed against a person or group of people because of their sex, gender, sexual orientation and/or gender identity. There are some people who may not know that what they’re experiencing is in fact gender-based violence.

Victims of GBV are those who have suffered physical, psychological, sexual, or emotional harm and maybe even economic loss or significant violation of their fundamental rights through crime or violence.

The table below provides the total number of gender-based violence cases the National GBV Command Call-Centre referred to the Provincial Department of Social Development in the Western Cape during the period 01 January  – 21 November 2021.






Abandoned Children









Child Neglect



Elderly Neglect



Emotional Abuse



Indecent Assault



Human Trafficking






Physical Violence



Rape/Corrective Rape



Sexual Harassment






Verbal Abuse Or Intimidation






*The statistics sighted above represent the number of tickets/files opened on the GBV Command

Centre Information System

* The Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) also receives referrals for GBV cases from the SAPS, Thuthuzela Centres, the NGO sector and walk-ins to DSD  local offices, which are not represented in the table above.

“It’s not uncommon to hear people say “it’s not my business” or “I don’t want to get involved”.  While you have to consider your own personal safety, the culture of turning a blind eye to abuse happening under our noses must stop.

We have had instances where it was the neighbour who helped a woman escape her abusive husband. This neighbour would hear the walls rattle as the abuse took place. As neighbours we can give the victim a safe place to stay, if it is safe to do so while they wait for help. We can contact the police or even take the victim to the police station to get help. Your intervention could save a life,” said the Western Cape Minister for Social Development, Sharna Fernandez.

“The challenge we face is much bigger than we want to admit, but that doesn’t mean that we cannot address it. If we all unite, we can address the scourge of violence against our women and children,” concluded Minister Fernandez.

On 11 December 2019 we launched the 365 Days of Activism campaign. We know that women and children are not only murdered during these 16 days. Therefore, along with our NPO partners, municipalities, and activists we committed to addressing GBV throughout the year.

A  Western Cape Government GBV transversal group was formed in September 2020 to comprehensively and strategically respond to Gender-Based Violence through institutionalizing, coordinating and advocating gender and GBV related efforts; within policy and practice.

The group is also tasked with aligning the Province’s efforts with the National Strategic Plan. In the last 9 months, we established six more much needed shelters, bringing the total in the province to 25. It was recently announced that we were the only province to add these additional shelters.

Who can get help?

Anyone who has suffered physical, mental or emotional harm, including the economic loss or substantial impairment of their fundamental rights, through crime or violence.

The Department of Social Development’s Victim Empowerment Programme, supported by funded NGOs in the Western Cape, offers a variety of services which include:

·         emotional and practical support,

·         management of trauma, 

·         identification of the symptoms of post-traumatic stress,

·         referrals to professional services where necessary,

·         provision of court support services during the criminal justice process,

·         promoting the rights and responsibilities of clients through advocacy,

·         ensuring that clients are aware of their rights,

·         preventing ongoing victimisation and provision of a shelter service.

A shelter is a place where victims of crime and violence are able to live for a period of one day up to approximately 3 months depending on the needs of the victims.

The shelter assists with meeting basic needs such as:

·         providing a safe place to live,

·         providing protection, food and clothing,

·         providing emotional support services such as trauma debriefing and therapeutic counselling,

·         providing information on developing skills, victim’s rights and capacity building,

·         support in preparation for court procedures,

·         programmes focused on alleged perpetrators and gender-based violence prevention programmes.

A shelter for victims of crime and violence does not provide statutory services to children, therefore shelters cannot accommodate children without their parents/ legal guardians.

Where to go for Help?

  • Gender-Based Violence Command Centre: Call 0800 428 428 or dial *120*7867#
  • National Shelter Movement (24-hour line): 0800 001 005 
  • Police: 10111
  • The Human Trafficking Resource Line: 0800 222 777
  •  Department of Social Development Toll-Free line: 0800 220 250
  •  Department of Social Development Email: GBV365DAYS@westerncape.gov.za 
  •  SASSA 0800 60 10 11
  • Childline: 116
Media Enquiries: 

Joshua Covenant Chigome

Spokesperson for the Minister of Social Development, Minister Sharna Fernandez

Email: Joshua.chigome@westerncape.gov.za­