Department of Social Development marks beginning of Women’s Month
The month of August sees the Western Cape Government celebrate and commemorate Women’s Month. The Department of Social Development (DSD) continues to play a leading role in rendering support and empowerment services to all women in the province.
The department has continued to make services we render more accessible to the more vulnerable segments of our society, especially women.
In addition to having rapidly increased our substance abuse treatment sites from 7 to 25 in the last five years, the department, in a first, created an all-female treatment site at the Kensington Treatment Centre. This was to deal with the increased number of women grappling with substance abuse. Research has shown that physical and sexual trauma followed by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is more common in drug-abusing women than in men seeking treatment. In view of this, women’s treatment would differ from that of males.
DSD continues to play a role in advocacy and rendering support to victims of violence, especially gender violence. Through our dedicated Restorative Services Programme, allocated R304-million this financial year, we seek to address the social impact of crime on communities and specifically women.
Crime does take on a gendered nature. The Victims of Crime Survey of 2012 revealed that only 26.2% of females felt safe walking alone when it is dark and only 30.3% reported feeling safe walking alone during the day.
The department through the Victim Empowerment sub-programme renders support services through our regional and local offices, which include;
- Victim support services at the sexual offences court (Wynberg & Khayelitsha)
- Victim impact assessments,
- Crisis intervention, therapeutic interventions, assessment, referrals and prevention.
In the past there had often been confusion over which services can be accessed and where victims can and should be referred to for assistance.
For this reason, DSD compiled a directory, which is a comprehensive and detailed guide of where victims of violence can access assistance and services.
The levels of assistance needed differ from one case to the next and this directory distinguishes between all the various role players, and what specific services they render.
The directory contains important contact information for:
- police stations,
- medical services,
- Thuthuzela Care Centres,
- Shelters for victims of violence,
- human trafficking service organisations and
- psycho-social support services like counselling and other therapeutic services.
The directory is available on our website, and has been made available at all 149 police stations across the province, for particular use by the counsellors and facilitators in the victim friendly rooms available at the stations. It will also be made available to all magistrates, libraries and other organisations working in the victim empowerment sector.
As we mark the beginning of Women’s Month, the department will not only be hosting various events and activities throughout the month and specifically on Women’s Day, but we’ll showcase that our work in rendering services to women is ongoing throughout the year.
Spokesperson for Albert Fritz, Minister of Social Development
Western Cape Government
7th floor, 14 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town, 8000
Tel : (021) 483 9217
Cell : 083 280 9199
Email : Sihle.Ngobese@westerncape.gov.za