Out of the Genesis Trust, SafePlace has been established to address the plight of injustice, particularly relating to “at-risk” women and children, in the neighbouring communities.
There are very limited statistics available on violent crimes against women and children in South Africa and the internet is littered with claims on various classifications of violence, many of which cannot be substantiated. South Africa is notorious for its high level of rape, but the true scale to which the problem extends is unknown. SAPS statistics only record reported proven incidents of rape.
An Institute for Security Studies report states “policing is only part of the solution. Most violence takes place between people who know each other or live in the same communities, and there is little the police can do about this until the crime has already been committed.”
Given the sometimes-limited resources the police have available to them, many incidents of violent crime go unreported and unattended. In instances, families will seek to resolve incidents of violent crime within the community between themselves, seeking financial compensation from the perpetrator rather than legal justice and physical & emotional treatment for the victim. In such instances, the trauma suffered by the victim goes unattended.
Although largely seen as the responsibiliy of the police, acts of violence need involvement from members of communities as the scale of the problem isn’t isolated to polce reported incidents. ‘It is important to understand that violence – whether it's murder, rape or assault – is not something that the police can prevent or reduce on their own,’ - Gareth Newham, Head of the Governance, Crime and Justice Division at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS).
The objective of the SafePlace run-to facilities is to be in close proximity to communities (within 1km) to facilitate victims having a place to escape to and expeditiously uplifted to the appropriate location where their needs will be attended to.