The assault experiences of, and psycho-social support needed by LGBTQIA+ persons will differ from that of other vulnerable persons, so tailored interventions are needed to address the different experiences, circumstances and support needed by the victims.
This was heard at a briefing by the Provincial Social Development Department to the legislature where they presented their implementation plan for the 2022/2023 financial year.
The standing committee stated that violence remains a serious and complex challenge in the province and the extent and nature of violence against vulnerable people is a major concern due to its continuous increase.
The department announced that for this financial year, they will be prioritising women, children and LGBTQIA+ communities. They said the department has a vision of a province free from Gender-Based Violence (GBV). They shared their GBV Implementation Plan which draws out elements on how different departments within the province will address GBV.
Spearheaded by the Provincial Department of Social Development, under the leadership of its MEC, Sharna Fernandez, the plan is a result of efforts across departments to reduce and strengthen their responses to address GBV.
It aims to assist the provincial government with its planning, implementing and follows actions to prevent and reduce GBV across the province. It also aims to strengthen existing GBV interventions and create opportunities for future evidence-based GBV interventions within and across the provincial departments.
Fernandez said while the budget has been cut for the department, they try to maintain and keep the GBV services going because it’s a scourge and a second pandemic, after COVID-19.
“We also rely on our partners to assist us and not wait until the story is on the front page of a newspaper. We need to treat this with the seriousness it deserves but also understand that our reach as a department is never going to be everywhere all the time, So we rely on government, civil society and communities to support us,” she said.