Public speaks out against gender-based violence at shelters

The commission announced that it will hold public hearings to get more information on the state of these shelters in order to hold all government departments to account.

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JOHANNESBURG – The Commission for Gender Equality said members of the public have complained about not receiving counselling and suffering secondary abuse at gender-based violence shelters.

The commission announced earlier on Monday that it would hold public hearings to get more information on the state of these shelters in order to hold all government departments to account.

The deputy chair of the commission Tamara Mathebula said the high rates of gender-based violence in the country made it even more important to undertake these investigations.

The commission said it conducted investigations in the country’s nine provinces and it established the capacity, accommodation criteria, funding and resources and relations with the police.

Mathebula said: “We recognised that there was a lack of adequate funding for some shelters. In some shelters, the buildings and facility infrastructure and security pose a threat.”

Mathebula said they found a lack of compliance to policies including therapy, early childhood development and mechanisms used when victims need further assistance.

“The director generals for social development and human settlement will be called to fully account before the commission.”

The commission said there were deep-rooted systemic challenges by state institutions and they needed to be addressed at the highest level.