Saartjie Baartman Centre remains open

The Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children said the demand for its services had grown significantly.

Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - The Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children on Thursday said the demand for its services had grown significantly in recent months.

The centre said it was inundated with daily requests to house and assist victims of domestic violence.

In 2011 alone, it helped around 4,000 women and children.

Earlier in 2012, it emerged that the centre was facing closure as it was running out of funds.

Centre director Synnøv Skorge said their waiting rooms are filled with desperate women who have finally decided to leave their abusive husbands.

She said the increasing demand for their services, coupled with the lack of funds, makes the task of assisting them almost impossible.

At present, the centre is turning away some 20 women and children daily, unable to offer them emergency shelter because of space problems.

Skorge said the shelter can only accommodate 60 abuse victims at a time and many of them are required to stay at the facility for up to five months.

Public support and government funding will help the financially troubled centre to keep its doors open for another four months.