WESTERN CAPE NEWS - The Department of Social Development would like to remind communities that services to victims of crime and violence are essential services and are still available.
Esther Lewis the head of communication for the provincial department, says this means that departmental and civil society organisations will continue to provide victim empowerment services through the provision of shelter and psychosocial support. “This can be accessed by calling the Gender-Based Violence Command Centre on 0800 428 428. The call centre is operational 24/7.”
Lewis says alternatively, services can be accessed by calling local offices, or by reports to the SAPS.
The Department’s local offices remain open, and social workers are available to assist with emergency statutory services which includes victim empowerment, children at high risk, child justice and probation services, services to persons with disabilities, as well as older persons at high risk.
She says a safety risk assessment by a social worker, and a SAPS referral must be completed in order to access the shelter service. “Stage 1 shelters, which will admit at-risk victims of crime and violence, have been identified. After 14 days, clients will be transferred from a Stage 1 shelter to a Stage 2 shelter with the assistance of SAPS.
“Stage 2 shelters may not admit new clients directly, except those who are referred by Stage 1 shelters and have completed their 14-day stay.”
The Department of Health will assist with medical screening and medical needs of clients. Psychosocial support at Thuthuzela Care Centres will also continue.
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