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Gender Based Violence Project

About Us

The objective of this program is to improve services provision and community awareness of services for survivors of sexual assault in South Africa, which struggles with one of the highest rates of gender-base violence in the world.

The Increasing Services for Survivors of Sexual Assault in South Africa (ISSSASA) Programme funded by USAID, is a collaboration of leading South African organizations – Foundation for Professional Development, The Soul City Institute, Sonke Gender Justice Network and the South African Medical Research Council. The objective of this program is to improve service provision and community awareness of services for survivors of sexual assault in South Africa, which struggles with one of the highest rates of gender-based violence in the world. The Government of South Africa’s fight against sexual and gender based violence is spearheaded by the Sexual Offenses and Community Affairs (SOCA) unit of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) within South Africa’s Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. USAID has worked with the NPA/SOCA since 1999 to establish the Thuthuzela Care Centre (TCC) model. TCCs provide a comprehensive portfolio of services to survivors of GBV, including emergency medical care, psychosocial counselling, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), HIV testing and counselling, and assistance with case reporting and court preparation in an integrated and victim-friendly manner. The TCC model seeks to streamline the care process for GBV survivors by establishing effective linkages between various service providers and government stakeholders, and to improve legal services by reducing time-to-court and increasing the conviction rate.

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Projects

Soul City Institute (SCI)

The objective of this program is to improve services provision and community awareness of services for survivors of sexual assault in South Africa, which struggles with one of the highest rates of gender-base violence in the world.

Soul City Institute focusses on community dialogues aiming at enhancing the services of TCCs in the context of GBV and child abuse. The outputs included community action plans that incorporated engagement by participants with the broader community on the issues of GBV and child abuse, as well as a strategy to connect GBV survivors to TCC services. The Soul City Institute works closely with community forums to connect community members through this dialogue process with the TCCs. The targeted stakeholders at these community dialogues are community based organisations, women’s groups, faith based organisations, community leaders, local authorities, youth groups and TCC staff.


SCI developed information packages on GBV that are available for download. The toolkit is a collection of resources for survivors of sexual assault or gender-based violence and a catalogue of materials useful for programme managers, advocates, clerks of the court, health workers, civil society, South African Police Services and social workers.

Available on http://isssasa.org.za/resources

The Soul Buddyz Clubs (SBC), a school-based project focussing on teaching children about GBV, has been evaluated and the overall results were:

SBC shows promising results

  • Few studies have evaluated the long term effect of school-based programmes
  • This study used innovate methods to recruit controls and cases
  • We found that:
    • Being an SBC member improved participation in community events, educational attainment and likelihood of employment
    • It also impacted on a number of key sexual risk behaviours
      • This was especially true for young women who were less likely to engage in risky sexual behaviours and to HIV positive
      • The effect on male ex-Buddyz was not as promising
  • Soul City should continue to promote SBC as a way to reduce HIV risk in young women
  • They should examine why SBC exposure has not been as effective in the long-term in young men>

SCI conducts a national campaign on social media, raising awareness on GBV and TCCs. This work has been augmented with open days conducted at hospitals situated close the TCCs. These open days are bringing together the community and the professionals working at the TCC making sure the services of the TCCs are known.

Social Laboratory: The ISSSASA Project embarked on an innovative process to try and learn more about the current systems that is entrenched in GBV, strengthen relationships between partners working in GBV, restore new thinking and building a collective agency to influence the sector.

Sonke Gender Justice Network

Sonke Gender Justice Network’s interventions focus on local radio with the theme of GBV and information of the purpose and services of TCCs. Sonke trains community radio stations’ staff on GBV, provides technical assistance during radio shows and supports with printed and electronic material. The Safe Ride Campaign was launched with taxi drivers, aiming to create a safe environment for women in taxis.


Foundation for Professional Development

The demand for FPD’s training on integrated management of sexual and GBV was evident as more than 4,000 professionals were trained.


FPD constructed, staffed and managed four TCCs, and also funds and manages four NGOs to provide after hour support to the TCCs.


A highlight for the Unit was supporting the 1st SA National Conference on Violence that took place in Johannesburg during 15-17 August 2016. There were over 400 delegates, 129 speakers, 21 poster presentations and 14 exhibitors. This was a remarkable gathering of people who share a commitment to Mobilise Science, Community and Policy for Prevention in South Africa. The speakers maintained an exceptional quality of the lectures throughout.


FPD has developed and implement an innovative GBV case management system for comprehensive, multi-sectoral support to staff at TCCs. The pilot has been rolled out at four TCCs and the results are very promising.

South African Medical Research Council (MRC)

The national research study of the prosecution and adjudication of sexual assault cases conducted by the MRC has been completed and they are now in the consultative meetings of stakeholder phase of the project. The goal of the study is to generate evidence-based recommendations for strengthening the prosecution and adjudication of sexual assault cases. The specific aim of the project is to describe and analyse the causes of sexual assault case attrition in criminal justice system nationally, including explaining closure of cases by the police, withdrawals of cases from court and acquittals in court.

DREAMS Project

The GBV Unit has been providing technical assistance to three implementing partners for an evidence-based intervention on post-violence care services (Thuthuzela Care Centre Model) in the districts: Ethekwini: North, South & West; Umkhanyakude: Hlabisa & Matubatuba; and city of Johannesburg: Sub-Districts A, D, E & G.

Rapid assessments have been conducted in all five district groups, and training of professionals have commenced in both eThekwini and Johannesburg districts. The rapid assessments have been done via a newly developed application that revolutionised the way research is being conducted.

FPD constructed, staffed and managed four TCCs, and also funds and manages four NGOs to provide after hour support to the TCCs.