Victim Empowerment Programme | Western Cape Government

Victim Empowerment Programme


The Victim Empowerment Programme (VEP) aims to support victims and survivors of crime and violence, including Gender Based Violence as well as their families, to deal with the impact of the incident, which he/she has experienced.

Who is a victim?

A victim is a person who has suffered physical, mental or emotional harm, including economic loss or substantial impairment of their fundamental rights through crime or violence.

The Department of Social Development Victim Empowerment Programme, supported by service providers in the Western Cape offers a variety of services to support victims which include:

•    ensuring that victims receive emotional and practical support,
•    assisting victims with the management of trauma,  
•    ensuring that victims are educated to identify the symptoms of post-traumatic stress,
•    referring victims to professional services where necessary,
•    provision of court support services during the criminal justice process is dealt with efficiently,
•    promoting the rights and responsibilities of victims through advocacy,
•    ensuring that victims are aware of their rights,
•    ensuring that ongoing victimisation is prevented and
•    providing 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.



Access the Western Cape Directory of Services for Victims of Crime and Violence for a comprehensive list of services available to victims of crime and violence. Contact a shelter, or ask for help on how to get to the nearest shelter at your nearest regional office or at your nearest police station.

Provided At: These facility categories:
Provided by:
Government Body: (Western Cape Government)
The content on this page was last updated on 29 November 2023