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Domestic abuse affects many women in South Africa. One in every four women is a victim of domestic violence, and every six hours a woman is killed by her intimate partner. Many women fall into a cycle of abuse, moving from one destructive situation to another. Abuse impacts on every aspect of a women’s life, destroyed self esteem. The Salvation Army provides several shelters for abused women and their children and an opportunity for them to find healing and learn skills that will empower them to cope as self-reliant members of society.
Carehaven is situated in Athlone, Western Cape, and offers sanctuary and short term housing to up to 60 women who are victims of domestic abuse and their children. Although a strong Christian emphasis in maintained, women of all races and creeds are embraced, and no one is ever turned away due to lack of money.
In order to break the cycle of abuse, the Carehaven programme of support and empowerment focuses on the whole person to bring healing and help her to cope with future problems more effectively. To date, Carehaven has helped over 5 000 women and children. Carehaven provides safety, professional counselling, support groups/workshops, access to medical care and legal advice, HIV/Aids counselling and training, day care services for children, life skills and parenting training, development of practical subjects, spiritual encouragement and support, and love and care.
A phased programme gently leads its residents into self reliance through:
- Crisis centre – new clients spend a week or so in the Crisis Intake Centre, a safe, quiet place where they are assessed by the social work team;
- First stage – provides communal accommodation for up to 40 women and children who can stay for up to four months. During this time, they take part in the Carehaven programmes, go to hospitals and courts, undertake training, and look for work and accommodation;
- Second stage – a few women are able to move on into one of the on-site flats where they may stay for another six months, living more independently and learning to care for themselves.
Carehaven also provides counselling and access to other professionals for children who have been affected by the violence against them.
For further information:
Click here to email Carehaven.