FOCUS AREA 1: GENDER BASED VIOLENCE
Gender based violence work faces high levels of government apathy and intransigence. In addition to seeking structural remedies in courts, we are considering regional and international strategies and complaint mechanisms.
According to the Khayelitsha Commission, insufficient specialised services for women and children who are victims of violence and the absence of professional services for victims are only two of the many reasons for not reporting domestic violence.
In 2015 the WLC conducted a study on the women it assists and this showed that domestic violence, assault and sexual violence against women remains widespread and under-reported and that the victims of violence are not effectively supported by public services.
Thus, Women’s Legal Centre seeks to empower women by educating them about their rights in relation to gender based violence. We also provide legal advice, litigate in certain cases to ensure state accountability to provide protection against violence, and shape the law with respect to violence against women. Together with our partners, we are working to provide a safe environment for women and girls.
Through our free legal advice service at our offices and our satellite office in Khaylitsha; and our Helpdesk based at the Cape Town Family Court where we assist with applications for domestic violence interdicts, 1101 women were given legal advice during 2015.