The Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children (SBCWC) was opened in 1999 in response to the high rates of violence against women and children on the Cape Flats near Cape Town. We provide essential, cost-free services 365 days a year to abused women and children employing a comprehensive range of services for the effective treatment and prevention of violence against women and children.
We were the first ‘one-stop’ centre in South Africa.
The Centre’s multi-disciplinary service provides an opportunity for organisations to come together as partners to develop an appropriate on-site multi-agency service delivery model for the effective management, treatment and prevention of violence against women and children. It also works in partnership with government departments and the non-governmental sector.
SBCWC has evolved to be the prime learning site nationally for providing holistic, integrated services to survivors of violence. Some of the services provided are managed directly by the Saartjie Baartman Centre. These include a 24-hour crisis response programme; a residential shelter programme and transitional housing for abused women and their children; a psycho-social support programme including a children’s counselling programme; a substance abuse programme and accredited job-skills training programmes for our clients.
The Centre, in addition, works in partnership with on-site organisations providing complementary services which include a medical service, an after-hours crisis response unit for children; specialised counselling services in rape/sexual assault, HIV/AIDS, as well as job placement, community outreach, advocacy, training and research.
We have been fortunate to have been selected as the organisation to pilot the Khuseleka model, a multi-sectoral approach in collaboration with key government departments and institutions designed to uphold all basic victim rights as encapsulated in the South African Victims Charter and the UN Conventions protecting the rights of women and children.
Our statistics have revealed that a large percentage of our clients accessing services and seeking shelter are either using, abusing or addicted to some form of substance. This hinders the recovery process and based on these findings we two units within the centre, namely, an orientation unit and substance abuse unit which will serve our clients’ needs comprehensively and effectively.
The vision of the SBCWC is the creation of a safe and secure society within a human rights culture, where women and children are empowered and live in a violence-free society.
The mission of the SBCWC, as a human rights-based, non-governmental organisation, is to provide a comprehensive range of services that are accessible and safe to women and children by:
1. Working in partnership with organisations that advocate ending violence against women and children
2. Providing 24-hour emergency shelter, short and medium term residential care, and childcare services
3. Providing mental health support, as well as legal and economic empowerment services
4. Conducting research that will inform intervention strategies and best practices in the gender-based violence sector.
We have established an integrated and comprehensive one-stop centre for women and children who are survivors of gender-based violence.
- The establishment of a relevant and effective one-stop centre partnership that provides client-centred services to women and child survivors of violence.
- The provision of a comprehensive range of services for abused women and children, which is effectively co-ordinated among partner organisations.
- The establishment, through research, of a best practice intervention model to challenge and end violence against women and children.
- The provision of effective community outreach work to end violence against women and children through prevention and awareness programmes.
- The development of an effective networking relationship with other organisations, networks and tertiary institutions that advocate and seek an end to violence against women and children.