Violence against Women (VAW)

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Violence against women in South Africa continues with impunity. The response from government to sexual and domestic violence has been largely reactive despite their constitutional responsibility to ensure that all South Africans live free from violence. The most recent crime statistics (2017/18) show that 50 108 sexual offences were reported during that period. Bearing in mind significant under‐reporting and the gendered nature of these crimes, it is clear to the WLC that violence against women occurs at epidemic levels. This program aims to address violence using the legal tools available to constitutionally challenge existing legal frameworks as well as lack of implementation.


To ensure that there is a legislative framework to address violence against women that is compliant with international and constitutional obligations.


To ensure that the state has implementation plans in place to action legal frameworks and policies. 


To hold the state and private entities accountable for the implementation of laws and policies, and for the development of due diligence standards relating to violence against women. 


To engage with strategic partners to promote and create awareness of women’s rights to make autonomous decisions in the context of violence