Enhancing State Responsiveness to Gender-Based Violence: Paying the True Costs aims to support state accountability for adequate and effective provision of domestic violence survivor support programmes, specifically those related to the sheltering of abused women. It also aims to strengthen and build the capacity of shelters.
The project was inspired by the successes of a previous EU-funded project implemented by the Heinrich Boell Foundation and the Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre between 2011 – 2013, which, amongst other activities, had included research undertaken on shelters in the Western Cape and in Gauteng. The research and further engagement between the HBF and the NSM highlighted a need for further work in this regard. The need was two-fold: on the one hand there was a need to strengthen state responses to sheltering services in respects to funding, to inter- and multi-departmental cooperation, as well as policy strengthening; and there was also a need to strengthen the shelters themselves including survivor’s access to shelters. In order to address these identified needs, this particular project:
- Undertakes research & analysis on the needs of women who seek residence in shelters and shelter’s ability to meet those needs in the context of state funding allowances; factors impacting on the short and long-term rehabilitation of survivors and the state’s role within this; and extent of domestic violence, quantifying the need for sheltering services in terms of data on existing capacities, inclusive of the ability of police to refer abused women to shelters;
Uses findings to dialogue & to build alliances with key decision makers, public sector institutions & civil society partners;
Provides capacity building & training of shelters for enhanced shelter service delivery; and
Strengthens shelter policies, tools & referral systems.
Through successful implementation, the project envisions that state support and shelter services to domestic violence survivors are improved, hence asserting women’s human, political and social rights to protection from, remedy to, and prevention of, gender-based violence.