Shelter for victims of abuse

2018-03-27 06:01

A Lavender Hill organisation has spent three decades fighting against domestic violence, and has now gone one step further.

New World Foundation (NWF) in Lavender Hill was established in 1980.

This non-profit organisation offers community development services in Lavender Hill, Vrygrond and surrounds. In an effort to help victims of domestic violence, the organisation now has a shelter for abused women and their children, which operates 24/7 and has a social worker to help victims. The shelter has been running since Wednesday 14 March.

Kim Pillay, senior programme manager and women’s shelter manager, says the foundation, and the Western Cape Women’s Shelter Movement, identified a huge need in the community for a shelter for abused women.

“Research done by the Heinricht Boell Foundation found that many police officers are not necessarily equipped with the right information and sometimes even cause secondary trauma and victimisation. Part of NWF’s research found that many of our clients are victims of domestic violence, thus we wanted to add to our services a shelter for abused women.

“The shelter will accommodate a total of nine people, which includes women and their children, as it has a total of nine beds for now. Children of the abused women are counted into that nine, with girl and boy children up to the age of 17 allowed, as long as they are still school-going. Other organisations can refer any women, including refugees, as long as they meet the criteria of currently being abused by anyone in their home.”

This inlcudes a boyfriend, husband, sibling, relative, partner or, Pillay says.

“The women’s shelter will not take in destitute/homeless women,” she says.

The shelter offers accommodation for up to three months. Various safety measures have been implemented, says Pillay. “However, should there still be a safety concern we have agreements with other shelters in the Western Cape to swap or exchange survivors.

“Abused women, their children and their families, including the abuser, will benefit from the services we offer which include educare, aftercare facilities, work skills training and placement opportunities, support groups, counselling and restorative justice mediation.

“We will further provide reintegration of the abused woman and her children back into her family should it be her choice to return to her previous accommodation. Assessments will be conducted upon arrival at the shelter and the necessary intervention will be rendered,” explains Pillay.

V Call the shelter on 060 703 4576.

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