Pretoria - A resource directory, which contains the information of more than 1500 organisations and government services in all nine provinces, is now available to help victims of crime and violence.
The directory can be used as a quick resource to access specialised services for victims, court preparation and support, protection and investigation services, social services centres as well as shelters and crisis centres.
It can be accessed at the national department of Social Development as well as at all non-governmental organisations working with the department. The directory will be made available to provincial social development offices soon.
The National Directory on Services for Victims of Violence and Crime also has a section where victims can lodge a complaint against a particular government department or service provider listed in the book.
It has numbers for the local offices of the Office of the Public Protector and Independent Complaints Directorate, among others.
"The new resource directory is an informative, easy-to-follow guide which will prove invaluable to the victims of violence, as well as service providers within the sector," said Deputy Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, on Wednesday.
"To people in the rural areas, it means that they will now understand their rights much better; where to go and get help if they feel that they have been harmed or their rights have been violated.
"They will go to the nearest service providers without being afraid of the police officers and the criminal justice system," said Ms Dlamini.
The directory will be updated on a periodic basis and the department is exploring the possibility of developing an online format, so that it can be accessible on a worldwide basis, Ms Dlamini told BuaNews.
The directory is also intended to provide a reference point for agencies working with victims of crime and violence in the country.