ODAC, alongside the Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust and the Women’s Legal Centre are spear-heading a campaign for the adoption of a Victim Empowerment Legislation in South Africa. The Rape Crisis conducted a feasibility study on behalf of the United Nations Development Programme to consult with sector stakeholders and the South African Treasury on the feasibility of a Victims Empowerment Legislative Act.
The study assessed the cost-benefit propositions of services to victims of crime, proposed a strategy for mobilizing support of government and parliamentary stakeholders to adopt such an Act. It is postulated that one of the major problems encountered by the different governmental departments working on victim empowerment (VE) is that victims-related legislative and policy provisions are scattered in a range of different legislations and policy documents. At present, there is no comprehensive legislation that specifically targets and addresses the specific needs of victims of crime. The existence of a single or explicit line budget for implementation of victim-related services as an effective mechanism for coordination support to victims of crime also doesn’t exist.
Flowing from the findings in this study, we have decided to take the initiative to launch a campaign for the adoption of this legislation. To achieve this, we have identified a number of key stakeholders that will constitute the core group of the campaign. A strategy planning meeting in Cape Town is proposed to bring all these stakeholders together to develop a suitable approach.