The Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children (SBCWC) was opened in 1999 as the first multi-disciplinary service (one-stop) centre for abused women and children in the country. This provided an opportunity for organisations to come together as partners to develop an appropriate on-site multi-agency service delivery model for the effective management, treatment and prevention of violence against women and children. It also presented an opportunity for a partnership approach between government departments and the non-governmental sector.
The vision of the SBCWC is the creation of a safe and secure society and a human rights culture, where women and children are empowered to exercise their full rights.
The mission of the SBCWC, as a human rights-based, non-governmental organisation, is to provide a comprehensive range of services that are accessible and safe to women and children by:
Christine is a 40 year old women who came to our centre about 2 years ago. She came with her 2 small children. It took a while before she decided to come to the centre, because she could never see herself living in a shelter with her children. She always thought that a shelter is not a place to raise your children. Christine was being physically, emotionally, verbally and psychologically abused by her husband for many years. Her husband was also on drugs and this just made the abuse much more severe. Her children witnessed all the abuse and she knew that she could not allow this to continue, but did not know what to do. She reached a point where she tough that that only way to escape the abuse is to take her own life. This is the stage that she decided to come to the centre. Christine really made use of all the opportunities that the centre offered her, counselling, training, job skills, job placement. She then also moved into one of our 2nd stage houses and during this period she worked in our catering department as part of our job placement program. Christine continued to empower herself by filling and finalising her divorce, getting a licence and finding her own place to stay. She has been living independently in her own place now for more than 6 months. We have recently offered her a full time post at SBC and she is now part of SBC staff.