Western Cape: Restorative Justice- Eradicate Generational GBV

Date: June 26, 2019
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The project focus on male juvenile delinquents that is current detained at Horizon Youth Centre on criminal charges, who are fathers. The project occurs on a monthly basis, where neurologist programming occurs. Workshops and Individual development plans take place based on participant’s individual needs. The projects aims to teach youth to be involved and effective fathers whilst being detained at Horizon Youth Centre; and to alleviate-eradicate domestic violence tendencies within their own families when they are released.


Generational household violence is a worldwide epidemic that have to be addressed. Children exposed to domestic violence normally have the tendency to practice the learned destructive behaviour in their interpersonal relationships as adults. The ultimate goal for this project is alleviate and or eradicate generational household violence with youth who have been exposed to domestic violence whilst in their childhood. The need for this projects launched based on the amount of youth who has been exposed to domestic violence in their childhood. This project will specifically target the need to address the abusive and destructive behaviour within their personal relationships once their they return back to their own families. The programme will be longitudinal, and it will only mainly focus on youth who have been sentenced from the age of 18 years until 21 years old. Therefore, in depth and holistic intervention will occur, targeting the individual and the family, by having individual and group counselling and family group conferences targeting the individual needs holistically.

Key Actions

The Circle of Courage will be used; provides evidence-based, proven approach for reaching and teaching youth with severe emotional and behavioural disorders. It integrates research on positive youth development with the best of positive thought, professional wisdom, and educational practice. The circle of courage approach is done through the lens if strength based perspective. This perspective will not focus on the weakness and problems of the youth it will instead focus on the strength, protective factors and the abilities of the youth to be a better father and do eradicate household violence. The youth attend the project on a monthly basis, whereby activities focus on their sense of belonging, mastery, Independence and generosity. This approach focus on the individual holistically, and also teach them how to implements these skills and knowledge within their own interpersonal lives to prevent domestic violence from occurring.


The approach and activities will explained in detail as follow:


Belonging- It focus on the individual and who he associate himself with that either have negative or positive influence on him. The project assist the youth to determine good, positive and productive relationships that will enhance their.


Mastery- The Youth express their frustration through troubled behaviour or by retreating in helplessness and inferiority. This section focus on the strengths, abilities and the talent of the youth, of which he can focus to strengthen interpersonal relationship.

Generosity- This aspect assist the youth improves self-esteem, and increased self-esteem that will allow young people to ‘de-centre’ and contribute to others. This section allow youth to have gratitude and grace for themselves and others.

Independence- This section put emphasis on what is right and wrong.


This project launched within Horizon Youth Centre, which was permitted by the Unit Leader of the Facility. It launched in Child protection week, where a need was identified within the facility and the amount of youth who has been exposed to domestic violence in their childhood.


The strategies that was employed was coalition between social workers, managers and child youth care workers within the facility. All members agreed and identified the gap that needed to be addressed. The gap has been pursued by implementing monthly workshops that focus on the need that was identified as young people who are fathers who do not know how to be involved in their children’s lives through the lens of exposure to domestic violence.


Main challenges is getting external family members involved due to distance. This has been overcome to writing letters and telephonic contact with external family members who was not able to come to the facility to attend family group sessions.

Some Youth was not able to express themselves openly in a group setting. The project allowed members to address their issues in an individual session.

Immediate results and next steps        

Youth have disclose in depth information of domestic violence and has encouraged them to be and become better fathers to their children. Youth is able to to describe and identity protective factors within their environment, which will assist them to make better choices for themselves and their interpersonal relationships to alleviate generation domestic violence.

This will be sustained by attending support groups in their own community once their released through the assistance of their probation officer.

Identifying resources for youth residing in rural communities is a challenge. Some Probation officers of the youth is not actively involved in the youth’s personal development once they are released from our facility.

Long term Impact

The programme is an on-going programming occurring on a monthly basis. Continues support will be provided for youth when they leave the facility, by contacting the facility either itself or their probation officers. Support groups will be identified once they leave the facility on where they can get continues support.

Learning and Application

The emotional, psychological and physical damage the exposure to domestic violence can cause to child. This behaviour is normally associated with the abuse of substances. Youth in the programme indicated that they normally will go and associate with deviant peers and normally join gangs’ o feel a sense of belonging because they felt protected and understood.

The programme implements the circle of courage and the strength based perspective that will assist in forming their own identity outside of negative influences that can be their gang members or their familial family relationships. Neurolinguistics programming will assist in reflection abilities, of which they will learn from their negative past behaviour to change and improve their deviant behaviour that will enhance and alleviate generational domestic violence.

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