Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre


Shelters Housing Women Who Have Experienced Abuse: policy, funding and practice

This report sets out existing policy and practice in relation to provision and funding of shelter services and also profiles five shelters in Gauteng province. The purpose of the five case studies was two-fold.

  • Firstly, the case studies aimed to describe the women seeking assistance from shelters and the services they required.
  • Secondly, they serve to contrast the needs of the women with the services that shelters are able to offer, as well as the resources available to them in providing their services.

Download: Kailash Bhana, Lisa Vetten, Lindiwe Makhunga, Dianne Massawe 2012 Gauteng Shelters for Abused Women Shadow Report

The organisation of the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) response to sexual offences

This policy brief considers how other countries have organised their policing responses to such violence, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of their interventions and reviews the organisation of the SAPS’ response to sexual offences, concluding with recommendations around how this response could be strengthened. Download: Lisa Vetten 2012 Will any Police officer do? The organisation of the South African Police Services (SAPS) response to sexual offences - Policy brief #4

Making Women's Representation in Parliament count

In this paper we set out the key arguments for the importance of women’s representation in democracies. We then assess strategies for increasing numerical representation through mechanisms such as quotas. Finally, we consider these arguments as they have been presented in the South African context and offer a close reading of the impact of women’s increased representation on their political voice and policy effectiveness. Download:  Lisa Vetten, Lindiwe Makhunga,  Alexandra Leisegang, edited by Shireen Hassim 2012 Making Women's Representation in Parliament Count

The Right & The Real

South Africa’s Constitutional Court makes it clear that, “few things can be more important to women than freedom from the threat of sexual violence.” So important is this right to be free from all forms of violence that, along with the rights to life and dignity, it imposes two sorts of duties on the state:

  1. obliging the state to refrain from acting in ways that infringe on these rights
  2.  compelling it to develop legislation and structures guaranteeing those rights

This report examines government’s compliance with these constitutionally mandated duties, taking as its point of departure two pieces of legislation key to combating violence against women – the Domestic Violence Act 116 of 1998 (DVA) and the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007 (SOA). Download: Lisa Vetten, Teresa Le, Alexandra Leisegang & Sarah Haken; edited by Christi van der Westhuizen (2010) The Right and The Real

Women in parliament

Lisa Vetten & Joy Watson (2010): Engendering the Parliamentary Agenda: Strategic opportunity or waste of feminist energy?

Domestic Violence Research

Acornhoek is a rural area located in the Bushbuckridge municipality of Mpumalanga province. It is also the site of an office established by the Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre (“Tshwaranang”) in 2007 to provide paralegal and lay counselling services to women experiencing various forms of gender-based violence. To coincide with the opening of the office, we undertook research examining women’s use of services in Acornhoek following incidents of domestic violence. Downloads Lisa Vetten, Francois van Jaarsveld, Phineas Riba, Lindiwe Makhunga (2009): Implementing the Domestic Violence Act in Acornhoek Lisa Vetten, Phineas Riba, Francois van Jaarsveld, Olivia Dunseith and Lufuno Mokwena (2009): “I Have a Problem”: Women’s Help-Seeking in Acornhoek, Mpumalanga Anneke Meerkotter (2009): Domestic Violence, Health and HIV: A review on progress made in addressing domestic violence through the HIV & AIDS and STI National Strategic Plan 2007-2011 - Policy brief #3

Tracking Justice Project

This study was undertaken in partnership with the Medical Research Council and the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation and tracked the progress of 2064 rape cases through the criminal justice system. Downloads: Lisa Vetten, Rachel Jewkes, Romi Sigsworth, Nicola Christofides, Lizle Loots, Olivia Dunseith (2008): Tracking Justice: The attrition of rape cases through the criminal justice system in Gauteng Lisa Vetten & Francois van Jaarsveld (2008): The (Mis)measure of Harm: An analysis of rape sentences handed down in the Regional and High Courts of Gauteng Province Rachel Jewkes, Nicola Christofides, Lisa Vetten, Ruxana Jina, Romi Sigsworth, Lizle Loots (2009): Medico-Legal Findings, Legal Case Progression, and Outcomes in South African Rape Cases: Retrospective Review

Rape Survivors and HIV

Downloads: Lisa Vetten, Julia Kim, Ennica Ntlemo, Lufuno Mokwena (2009): From Paper to Practice: Lessons in the Implementation of Health and Victim Empowerment Policy Applicable to Rape Survivors - Policy brief #2 Lisa Vetten & Tanya Jacobs (2008): Towards developing and strengthening a comprehensive response to the health care needs of rape survivors - Policy brief #1 Lisa Vetten, Sadiyya Haffejee (2008): Supporting Rape Survivors In Adhering To Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) To Prevent HIV Infection: The Importance Of Psychosocial Counselling And Support Lisa Vetten, Sadiyya Haffejee (2005): Factors Affecting Adherence to Post-Exposure Prophylaxis in the Aftermath of Sexual Assault: Key Findings from Seven Sites in Gauteng Province

Report from a Roundtable discussion on Domestic Violence and the Health Sector

The roundtable took place between 11 – 12 August 2008 at the Adler Museum, Wits Medical School in Parktown, Johannesburg. It comprised of a series of panel discussions by practitioners and researchers with direct experience of trying to conceptualise or implement different types of interventions in the health sector. Download: Developing a Health Sector Response to Domestic Violence

Housing for women

Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre (TLAC) was requested by the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) to examine how current laws regulating the granting of a divorce and division of property on divorce, including the provisions of the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act, can be used to secure women’s rights to property and housing and to examine the manner in which customary laws impact on women’s rights to own property and how the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act could be used more effectively to protect these rights. Download: Liesl Gerntholtz and Nondumiso Nsibande, 2006: Using the law to secure women’s rights to housing and security of tenure

Violence against women in South Africa: Fact sheet

As far as possible, policies should be evidence-based and depend on sound research and information for their formulation. For this reason, while all manner of figures are tossed around in relation to rape and domestic violence, we have chosen to highlight only those supported by sound research methods and whose source can be verified. Download the Fact Sheet  

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PO Box 31006
Braamfontein 2017
South Africa.

Tel: +27 11 331 0088