The Gauteng Department of Community Safety has responded to allegations by some victims of gender-based violence accommodated at Ikhaya Lethemba victim empowerment centre that they are being forced to exit the centre
According to the Department it has emerged that the refusal by some of the three women to exit the centre was because they do not have alternative accommodation as they come from destitute families.
“In terms of the exit plan, clients are given a month’s notice and an assessment is made by social workers to determine their psycho social capacity to be reintegrated back into society. Moreover, efforts are also made to establish their plans based on the skills they have obtained and how to effectively utilize them.
“Contrary to the allegations made by the three clients in question all the services offered at the centre were made available to them including a schedule of their counseling sessions. However, some of them resorted not to utilize the opportunity,” MEC Sizakele Malobane-Nkosi.
Malobane-Nkosi said it has also emerged that some of them refuse to exit the centre because they do not have alternative accommodation as they come from destitute families.
“It must be noted that the shelter is only required to intervene in a case where a client is destitute in a form of referral to shelters that accommodate such clients. Clients who have families are encouraged to go reside with them after the contracts at the victim empowerment centre have lapsed,” she said.
Malobane Nkosi added that this puts a strain on the capacity of the shelter to accommodate additional clients in the shelter, depriving other victims of gender based violence of their basic human rights to receive much needed assistance to deal with their trauma.