Lawyers against Abuse (LvA) provides free, professional legal services and psycho-social support to victims of gender-based violence (GBV) in one of South Africa's most disadvantaged communities. Diepsloot, an informal settlement north of Johannesburg, is home to over 500,000 people, yet LvA is the only organization of its kind working in the community. LvA also works closely with local police and courts to ensure GBV victims are treated with dignity and respect when seeking justice.
Violence against women is an epidemic in South Africa. It is estimated that one woman is raped every 26 seconds nationwide, and rates of gender-based violence (GBV) are particularly high in the community of Diepsloot, where LvA works. In a recent survey, 78.8% of community members identified domestic violence as the most common form of violence they experience. Many women lack meaningful access to legal relief, and even suffer secondary trauma when seeking justice through the police and court.
LvA provides free legal services and psycho-social support to victims of GBV in Diepsloot, an informal settlement north of Johannesburg, where rates of GBV are staggeringly high. LvA assists with protection orders, provides support in criminal cases of rape and assault, and ensures the police and courts are responsive to victims' needs. LvA also provides individual and group counseling, and facilitates community workshops to raise awareness of GBV and empower women and girls.
This project will bring justice to hundreds of GBV victims, breaking the cycle of abuse and freeing survivors to move on with their lives. LvA's innovative model involves direct client support, community education and awareness-raising, as well as ongoing engagement with state actors. LvA believes that by changing attitudes we can also change behavior, and ultimately transform the lives of individuals, families, and communities.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
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