Advocate Bernadine Bachar has been appointed as Director of the Saartjie Baartman Centre for abused women and children. Formerly a Senior Family Advocate, Bachar has been active in the protection of the rights of mothers and children since the start of her career in 2000.
Bachar’s focus in her first year at the helm will be to secure long-term funding for the services that the Centre provides to the community. While the Centre is funded in part by the Department of Social Development, it relies on grant funding and private donations to operate at full capacity. “A women’s centre of this size is a costly operation, especially at a time that the entire non-profit sector is struggling.”
Since opening their doors 18 years ago, the Saartjie Baartman Centre has assisted more than 190 000 victims of crime and violence. They offer services such as crisis response, counselling, job skills training and childcare. In 2016, the Centre opened a substance abuse unit, allowing women who are addicted to drugs and in abusive relationships to bring their children with them to a place of safety while they detox.
“The opportunity to be involved hands-on in the fight against gender-based violence in our society is an honour,” says Bachar. “If we are to break the cycle of abuse, we need to assist women and children survivors to heal and lead independent lives. Therapeutic and empowerment programmes are as important as the courts.”
Distributed by Be-cause Integrated Communications
021 447 1082 / 072 930 4412
On behalf of the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children
Director: Bernadine Bachar