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Criminals create nightmare at place of safety

THURSDAY, 15 AUGUST, 2019 I For immediate release

A safe haven for abused women and their children in Cape Town has been broken into several times over the past three weeks, causing extensive damage to its premises and creating secondary trauma for its residents.

The Salvation Army’s Cape Town shelter, Carehaven, provides safe accommodation for women and their children fleeing from domestic violence situations. 

Earlier this week, a gang of thieves gained entry through the centre’s pantry window, then broke into the walk-in fridge, stole gas bottles from a locked cage and knives from the wooden block in which they were stored. They also pulled pipes and taps from the walls.

The theft and vandalism comes after several break-ins to the centre’s early childhood development section in the last three weeks.

Even more disturbing than the damage caused to property is the secondary trauma inflicted by the gang on the residents and their children. 

Carehaven’s administrator, Captain Miranda Lang, says: “Residents and their children were hysterical during the break in and shared with us that, even though they come from abusive homes, they have never experienced such violence.”

The Salvation Army’s PR Secretary, Major Carin Holmes, added: “As an organisation providing a vital service for the community – that of sheltering abused women and their children – we are shocked that these criminals have such disrespect for the healing work that we do. We have reached a sorry state when criminals target organisations such as ours, which face a daily struggle for finances in order to keep serving the community.”

Major Holmes appealed to members of the public and business community to come forward and assist The Salvation Army provide improved security services at the shelter. Anyone willing to help can contact her on 011-718-6745 or email her at  

Carehaven provides skills training, such as computer literacy and sewing, which offers hope for the future. It is often the lack of alternatives that keeps the women in an untenable situation. As Carehaven has a small crèche, women fortunate enough to find employment can go out to work with peace of mind. The abused women arrive broken and beaten, with no self-esteem. They are destitute, traumatised and degraded as human beings. In many cases, it has taken great courage to leave the scene of their violation. 


Media Contact: Ruth Coggin
Quo Vadis Communications
Tel: 011-487-0026
Cell: 082-903-5819
CLICK HERE to e-mail Ruth Coggin

Client Contact: Major Carin Holmes
Public Relations Secretary
Tel: 011-718-6745
Cell: 082-994-4351
CLICK HERE to e-mail Carin Holmes