The Western Cape Department of Social Development launched the Victim Empowerment Programme (VEP), which aims to support victims, survivors and their families of crime and violence to deal with the impact of the incident they have experienced.
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The VEP programme supports any person who has suffered physical, mental or emotional harm, including the economic loss or substantial impairment of their fundamental rights through crime or violence.
The programme, in collaboration with service providers in the Western Cape, offers the following services in support of victims:
- Ensuring victims receive emotional and practical support
- Assisting with the management of trauma
- Victims will be referred to professional services where necessary
- Assistance and help to ensure the criminal justice process is dealt with efficiently
- Promoting the rights and responsibilities of victims through advocacy
- Educating victims on their rights
- Providing a shelter service
The VEP offers shelter to victims of crime and violence for a period of one day up to approximately three months, depending on the needs of the victims.
The programme assists with meeting basic needs at the shelter such as:
- Providing a safe place to live
- Providing food and clothing
- Emotional support services such as trauma debriefing and therapeutic counselling
- Information on developing skills, victim’s rights and capacity building
- Support in preparation for court procedures
- Gender-based violence prevention programmes.
Access the Western Cape Directory of Services for Victims of Crime and Violence for a comprehensive list of services available to victims of crime and violence. Contact a shelter, or ask for help on getting to the nearest shelter at your nearest police station.
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