8 Organisations Fighting Gender-Based Violence

Gender-based violence is a scourge facing South African women. A 2016 Stats SA and South African Medical Research Council survey shows that one in five women experienced violence at the hands of a partner. There are numerous cases that go unreported. Here are eight organisations fighting the fight against gender-based violence and aiding women (and their children) who have survived abuse.

Read: Organisations fighting Gender-based violence in SA

Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children (SBCWC)

The SBCWC in Manenberg, Cape Town caters to women and children who are survivors of abuse. It acts as a multi-agency service delivery model to manage, treat, and prevent violence against women and children, and includes a 24-hour crisis response; a residential shelter and transitional housing for abused women and their children; legal assistance; and job-skills training bringing together a number of organisations both within government structures and the non-governmental spaces.

You can reach the Centre on 021 633 5287 or check out the website for more details.

The Frida Hartley Shelter

The Frida Hartley Shelter for destitute women and children is located in Yeoville, Johannesburg and takes in homeless women and their children who have survived neglect, abuse, trauma, and homelessness. It provides a home to women who have lost their jobs and are struggling financially, and young homeless mothers looking to kick-start their lives.

You can contact the shelter on 011 648 6005 or info@fridahartley.org.

Rape Crisis Centre

The Rape Crisis Centre supports the recovery of survivors, seeks justice, and makes change in communities. It also aims to reduce the trauma experienced by survivors and encourage them to report rape, and support communities in challenging high rape rates and flaws in the criminal justice system. It provides survivors with court support, counselling services, and community prevention strategies by creating a culture of respect for women and girls in South Africa.

Rape Crisis Centre has a 24 hour Crisis Line 021 447 9762 and its head offices are in Cape Town.

Nisaa Institute for Women’s Development

The Nisaa Institute for Women’s Development is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation, opposed to all forms of oppression, exploitation, and violence against women. Located in Lenasia, Johannesburg, Nisaa focuses on the prevention of gender violence and the empowerment of women who have been abused by their partners. It provides counselling and shelter services, awareness and advocacy, training and developing local, national, regional and international partnerships.

You can reach Nisaa on 011 854 5804/5 or check out their website for more information.


Shukumisa is a coalition made up of NGOs, community-based organisations, research institutions and legal services. Its members work with adults, children, people with disabilities, sex workers, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender and intersex community. It aims to ensure that South Africa considers the problem of sexual violence seriously, with well-crafted, well-implemented legislation derived from broad-based public participation.

You can contact Shukumisa on 021 447 1467 or visit their website for details.

Agisanang Domestic Abuse Prevention and Training (Adapt)

Adapt is a non-profit organisation based in Alexandra Township, Johannesburg. It provides counselling to women survivors of sexual violence but also provides community education, conducts research, advocacy and lobbying, and builds community support for women through training of officials within various disciplines for women survivors and vulnerable girl children.

You can contact Adapt on 011 786 6608 or adapt@worldonline.co.za.

Masimanyane Women’s Rights International

Masimanyane Women’s Rights International is an advocacy and empowerment organisation that works with local, national, and global partners to strengthen women’s rights, reduce HIV/Aids, and eradicate violence against women. It evolved from the Masimanyane Women’s Support Centre, which was established to address the critical issue of violence against women and now also participates in research, documentation, and advocacy.

It has 14 offices in the Eastern Cape, with a presence in the region’s two biggest magistrate’s courts, as well as in four police stations and a clinic.

For more information visit its website.

People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA)

POWA was originally formed to provide referral services and shelter to women experiencing domestic violence. It then established a shelter for abused women and pioneered transitional housing for women in 2009 in Gauteng. Its direct services delivery component forms the basis of and informs all advocacy interventions at local, national, and regional levels. Today POWA provides shelters, counselling, and legal advice for survivors of gender-based violence. It also conducts advocacy, community outreach and media awareness, training and development, and contributes to feminist research and knowledge production.

POWA’s head office is in Berea in Johannesburg but it also has branches in Soweto, Vosloorus, Katlehong, and Evaton. You can reach POWA at 011 642 4345 or info@powa.co.za.

Featured image by Nyiko Shikwambane