NGOs watch to see if statements condemning violence against women are translated into rands and sense

27 February 2013

The Shukumisa Campaign has urged Minister Pravin Gordhan to recognise demands for better services for rape survivors in South Africa ahead of the National Budget speech on Wednesday, 27 February.

This follows reports from many specialised rape survivor care centres that they have not received state funding for the last six months.

In fact, the government has given no more than R5.7-million to 22 of the Shukumisa Campaign’s membership organisations in the last 12 months. This has led to lost jobs, retrenchments and diminished services for South African rape survivors.

“Politicians have recently voiced a good deal of outrage and condemnation of violence against women. We call on government to follow through on its rhetoric with the  money that really illustrates political commitment,” the campaign said.

Many specialised rape survivor care centres across South Africa have received no state funding since September 2012. Among those affected are the hospital-based Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCC), which provide crucial counselling services for survivors.

There are 51 TCCs in South Africa, which are internationally acclaimed as an example of best practice in this area of rape survivor services.

Any diminished capacity with regards to counselling would have extremely damaging effects on both individual rape survivors and South African society as a whole, the campaign said. Counselling services for rape survivors are a critical part of the healing process for both survivors and their families. They also support rape survivors to cope with trial processes.

These counselling services also interrupt cycles of abuse, where children in abusive households may learn to become victims or perpetrators of abuse as adults.

Continued counselling for rape survivors also ensures better adherence to post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). PEP is a drug regimen issued to rape survivors at state expense to prevent transmission of HIV.

The campaign said that it would pay particular attention to budget allocations for health, social development and the criminal justice system, as these played key roles in combating sexual violence.

For comment:

Kathleen Dey, 084 568 5356

Samantha Waterhouse  084 522 9646

Lisa Vetten 082 822 6725

Issued by the Shukumisa Campaign whose 28 members include Adapt, Childline SA, Community Law Centre Parliamentary Participation Unit, Gender Health and Justice Research Unit (GHJRU), Greater Rape Intervention Project (GRIP), Justice and Women (JAW), Legal Resources Centre, Lethabong Legal Advice Centre, Lifeline/Rape Crisis Pietermaritzburg, Limpopo Legal Advice Centre, Masimanyane Women’s Support Centre, Mosaic, Nisaa Women’s Support Centre, Peddie Women’s Support Centre, People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA), Project Empower, RAPCAN, Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust, Remmoho, Teddy Bear Clinic, Sonke Gender Justice Network, Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT), Thohoyandou Victim Empowerment Programme, Thusanang Advice Centre, Tipfuxeni Community Counselling Centre, Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre, Western Cape Network on Violence Against Women, Women on Farms Project 

 

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