Specialised legal services for women and girls offered through our Legal Clinic. The Clinic seeks to improve access to justice for women and children who experience or are at risk of experiencing gender based violence (GBV). In a country with high levels of GBV such crimes are under reported because of their sensitive nature and the systemic failures of the justice system. The Clinic provides court support and legal representation to ensure proper recourse is afforded to women and girls.
Despite the existence of a strong legal framework for responding to the threat and incidence of gender based violence, South African society is characterized by high levels of violence against women and children, a problem that is becoming normalized and remains under-reported because of lack of trust and faith in the system; limited court support services; lack of access to legal services as well as secondary victimization caused by the treatment of survivors by the system.
GBV's impact is most significantly on the poorest and most marginalised women in society who do not have access to resources. The Clinic gives such women free access to direct legal representation that will reduce the number of times they are moved and re-referred between services, forced to retell their story multiple times causing further trauma.
A Study conducted by Tshwaranang, and Medical Research Council in Gauteng showed that only 50% of rape suspects are arrested and of those, only 14% of cases went to trial with a nominal 3% and 7% of adult and children's cases respectively resulting in a successful prosecution. These statistics are a result of the problems previously stated and the clinic seeks to ensure a reduction in such numbers and that justice becomes the result for GBV survivors when approaching the criminal justice system.