How we help…
How we help…
We conduct community workshops to educate communities on the Domestic Violence Act, the Children’s Act and the Maintenance Act. We provide information and tools for community advice centres who are mostly run by community members under the guidance of paralegals to be better informed and offer valuable practical assistance at grass roots level.
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We make submissions on discussion papers specifically related to gender-based violence, intimate partner violence, child maintenance, financial and economic abuse. We encourage members of the public to make submissions based on their lived experiences so that any amendments can be victim centred and focused.
Our submission to the gender-based violence national strategic plan was included and the definition was amended to specifically include the use of child maintenance as a form of gender based violence. Other provisions were expanded to include aspects of economic and financial abuse to be more definitive.
We made submissions on the Discussion paper on reforming the Maintenance Act by the South African Law Reform Commission in June 2022.
Advocacy is critical in the advancement of women’s economic security. Economic security is dependent on economic equity, in order to create economic and financial stability it is imperative to secure child support for women.
Notwithstanding the lack of empirical data on percentages of women not receiving child support in South Africa the anecdotal evidence is that it is in excess of 50%. Singularly this is the biggest barrier to economic security not only for women but for children and a significant driver of poverty and gender equality. Creating awareness to the many intersections, overlaps and impacts of women carrying the burden of raising children on their own is critical for the protection of women and children who are the most vulnerable and marginalised of society.
We have had discussions/meetings with the Chief Family Advocates office to discuss the gaps and barriers of women’s lived experience in the Maintenance Courts. We presented at the Gauteng Department of Justice’s National Strategic Planning session in 2019 specifically addressing the obstacles in accessing justice on behalf of the child in the Maintenance Courts.
We presented at the Maintenance Conference in 2021 in Johannesburg hosted by the Department of Women and Youth and People living with disabilities.
In 2019 we launched National Child Support Awareness Week which runs from 4 December which culminates in International Child Support Day on 10 December. Both of these initiatives were adopted in the National Assembly as well as the Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga Legislature.
Whilst great strides have been made in advancing awareness on the scourge of financial and economic abuse it is still in its infancy in South Africa, peer to peer sharing of knowledge and information with international organisations will accelerate the work in South Africa.
Building partnerships is imperative for capacity building. We partnered with the National Prosecuting Authority in the Western Cape to host workshops for citizens, community advice centres, gender based violence organisations as well as for legal practitioners, social workers and mediators. We partner with Alexander Institute for Justice and Victim Empowerment and contribute to educational workshops in the Kensington community.
We have been included in the international economic abuse community, Canadian Centre for Women’s Empowerment, Survivors of Economic Abuse in the United Kingdom and Centre for Women’s Empowerment in Australia.
Have a look at our national and international partners by clicking here
Our training programs have specifically been developed for the South African landscape to meet the need for information and knowledge for legal practitioners, social workers, mediators, family coordinators and psychologists, judicial personnel and others that work in the domestic violence and child maintenance discours.
We offer training courses on Domestic Violence, Financial and Economic Abuse and Maintenance.
The courses are to give service providers a greater understanding of the provisions in the legislation, case law and peoples lived experiences so they are able to better represent victims.
Have a look at all the courses we present by clicking here
The research on Economic abuse in South Africa is limited; it does however correlate with research conducted internationally. Globally there is a lack of empirical data on post relationship abuse of which financial abuse is one component of the cycle/wheel.
We have launched our own research to collect data on the prevalence of Economic and Financial Abuse in relationship and post relationship, the research includes victims’ experiences in the Family Courts. The results of the research will provide the much-needed data to not only inform policy but legislation.
We have a significant amount of anecdotal evidence and data from our Facebook groups, which is in excess of 130 000 members of which 85% are women, we have been able to identify trends and approximate the prevalence.