30 March 2004
South Africa’s fight against domestic violence has been intensified with the publication of a training manual to enhance the skills of workers handling domestic violence cases.
The multi-disciplinary manual is designed to build capacity and strengthen the specialised skills of such workers.
The Integrated Domestic Violence Training Programme manual, which will in future be accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority, aims to help police officers, prosecutors, magistrates, counsellors, health practitioners and victim assistant officers to deal adequately with domestic violence.
Launching the manual in Pretoria on Monday, Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Penuell Maduna said it would complement the current Domestic Violence Act, as it would also address the social challenges associated with abuse against women and children.
“Domestic violence happens in homes, and we can’t place a police officer at every home in the country”, Maduna said. “This manual addresses the social problems associated with this abuse.”
The manual is an initiative of the Sexual Offences and Community Affairs Unit of the National Prosecuting Authority, in partnership with the Law Courts Education Society of British Columbia and the SA National Integrated Domestic Violence Committee.
It is categorised into five modules. The first module outlines the social context of domestic violence, the second module explains current laws on domestic violence, while the third module outlines the various roles and responsibilities of the police, prosecutors, magistrates, and counsellors in implementing the law while offering improved, holistic treatment for survivors.
The fourth module helps role players to support survivors and plan their safety, while the fifth module teaches role players how to interview domestic violence survivors in a manner that is sensitive and responsive to their needs.