Minister Fernandez engages Saartjie Baartman’s Centre for Women and children | Western Cape Government

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Minister Fernandez engages Saartjie Baartman’s Centre for Women and children

24 June 2022

On Thursday 23 June 2022, the Western Cape Minister for Social Development, Sharna Fernandez, engaged with the Saartjie Baartman’s Centre for Women and Children (SBCWC) on the facility’s substance abuse programme for women who have been victims of violence.

The facility is a one-stop centre for women and children who are survivors of abuse.

Research has shown that physical and sexual trauma followed by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is more common in women with substance use disorders seeking treatment than in men. In light of this, treatment requirements may differ between men and women.

Today’s visit to SBCWC serves as a great example of a gender-responsive treatment option for women who have been victims of gender-based violence, who also have a substance use disorder (SUD).

As part of its service offering, the facility has incorporated an inpatient treatment programme for the women who needs treatment before slotting into the victim empowerment programme - Saartjie Baartman Centre, where women are allowed to bring their children with to the centre and this allows the mother to address her alcohol and/or drug problem for 16 weeks.

Presently, the facility supports ten women at any given time, who are dealing with a SUD.

“Given the ongoing violence against woman and children, it has become even more urgent for Government to support substance use disorders (SUDs) interventions being offered as there is a direct link between the two respective concerns.  However, we recognise that the ways in which women experience substance use disorders (SUDs) and their individual needs for treatment and support, are varied and that there is not necessarily one simple solution for each case being dealt with.

“In this regard, we are continuously working to expand the reach and quality of our substance abuse treatment options and intervention services, although budget availability has become a barrier to coverage in all areas of need in the province,” said Minister Fernandez.

The Western Cape Department of Social Development DSD) also has a public female only Inpatient treatment centre - the Kensington Inpatient Treatment Centre.

The provincial Department of Social Development (DSD) with the support of its Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) partners provides a wide array of substance use disorder (SUD) programmes, ranging from prevention, early intervention, through to outpatient and in-patient rehab and aftercare services.

All programmes funded by the Department of Social Development are registered in accordance with the Prevention of and Treatment for Substance Abuse Act, Act 70 of 2008.

For more information about our services, please refer to the Western Cape DSD’s website using the URL provided below or by calling the Western Cape Department of Social Development toll-free: 0800 220 250.

https://www.westerncape.gov.za/dept/social-development.

Media Enquiries: 

Joshua Covenant Chigome

Spokesperson for the Minister of Social Development, Minister Sharna Fernandez

Tel: 021 483 9217

Cell: 083 661 4949

Email: Joshua.chigome@westerncape.gov.za­