Safe house needed for sufferers of abuse

DOMESTIC violence is a fast-growing crime within our society from which the vulnerable, whether young, old, mentally or physically challenged, need to be protected. With this in mind, the Meerensee CPF Domestic Abuse Task Team was launched six months ago and has since recognised the dire need of a safe house.
‘The programme is effective, having dealt with 12 cases since its inception,’ said CPF member Corrie Pretorius. ‘Although our task team has accommodation set up through various homes and guest houses, these are only available for a night or two at a time.
‘Some attorneys have offered assistance to obtain protection orders for victims on a voluntary basis, and some of our church leaders are on board for counselling, as is SAPS.
‘The problem lies in that, most often, victims have no alternative accommodation and, especially when children are involved, the legal process and need for professional evaluation, investigation and counselling can be cumbersome.’
Pretorius said a safe house then becomes the key to successful rehabilitation and offers case workers time to assist effectively.
‘Without a safe house, victims are often forced by their circumstances to return to their abusive relationships,’ said Pretorius.
‘Child abuse, rape and domestic violence is an ever-growing trend and, as the community, we are forced to deal with this very present evil.’
Pretorius went on to say that abuse and sexual exploitation are not linked to specific areas or income groups and require very time consuming investigations.
 ‘Inasmuch as every effort is made to be of service, the CPF is unfunded and we appeal to industry and businesses to assist in setting up a safe house.’ It is a sad fact that social services are drastically under-funded and the burden therefore falls on private entities to assist.
Any individuals or corporate entities willing and able to help, can contact Pretorius on 084 2457428.
Tamlyn Jolly

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