(Foto: Das Team des Safe House Bredasdorp, ganz rechts Gründerin Lana O’Neill)

Safe House Bredasdorp in South Africa

The Safe House in Bredasdorp was founded in 2015 by community activist Lana O’Neill. It is a refuge for women and girls who are exposed to domestic and sexual violence. The Safe House is the only place of its kind in the whole Cape Agulhas region. To date, Lana and her team have taken in, cared for and advised around 350 women in the house. The team receives a fixed amount of about 5000 Euro per year (R100 000) from the community to cover electricity, water and other fixed costs.

For everything else Lana and her team depend on donations of money and goods.Violence against women and femicide is rampant in South Africa. In a speech in mid-June 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa called Gender-based-violence (GBV) the second epidemic that South Africa is facing. In 2019 about 2700 women died from GBV, in the last weeks alone men killed 21 women and girls.

Since the Corona pandemic arrived in South Africa, Lana and her colleagues have set up an ad hoc soup kitchen. Every day they distribute food to several hundred people in the township of Bredasdorp. Although the government also officially distributes food parcels, the demand is too high and these “food parcels” are often misused for political purposes. The donations thus support both the regular work in the safe house and the distribution of food to those in need.