Access to Justice
Our Legal Unit works closely with our Care & Support department to assist survivors of gender-based violence and sexual abuse as they navigate the criminal justice system. Creating a supportive and non-intimidating experience is a top priorities for us, as survivors of abuse can often be put in challenging and uncomfortable situations when dealing with government agencies, service providers and organizations – known as secondary victimization.
The Legal Unit
Through our Legal Unit, SWAGAA provides legal assistance to survivors of gender-based violence and sexual assault. To improve outcomes within our justice system, we work with key stakeholders to facilitate legal recourse for survivors. Services provided to survivors include:
- Legal counselling
- Court preparation and legal aid
The Legal Unit collaborates extensively with the Royal Eswatini Police, the Law Society, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and magistrates. Our goal is to support clients in accessing justice.
What is Secondary Victimization?
Survivors can have the unique experience of secondary victimization. This is when social service providers display behaviours or attitudes that are insensitive to the experiences of the victim. “Victim-blaming” by social service providers and institutions can re-traumatize the survivor and have long-term psychological impacts. This experience may be heightened when a survivors ability to access help from formal judicial structures in compromised.