To see individuals live their full potential in intimate relationships and families in a society that is free from gender based violence.

To advance a coordinated, multi sectoral, culturally competent restorative justice response to violence against women and children by:

  • Being a resource to religious leaders, institutions and faith communities as they hold offenders accountable and ensure the safety and   empowerment of victims/survivors by offering opportunity for truth telling and healing of individuals and families.
  • To challenge, from a theological perspective, patriarchal traditions and other root causes of intimate partner abuse and violence that destroys the dignity of women, children and men, and
  •  To encourage the promotion of scriptural and the theological teachings that encourage intimate relationships that set people free to live their full potential in supportive unions
  • Faith and family
  • Respect and human dignity
  • Compassion and Ubuntu
  • Collaboration and partnership
  • Conversation and dialogue
  • Listening and learning


“I use to believe that women have no say and that everything must come from the man. SAFFI’s training has changed my perception. I preach now about domestic violence and there are many people who come to ask for help” Pastor
“We did not talk much in my congregation about domestic violence. But after the training I began to have conversations during the church hours about domestic violence. SAFFI has opened my mind.” Religious Leader

The World we Work in


of South African Women are in Abusive Relationships.


of the South African population affiliate with a religion.

In this context it makes sense that in South Africa abused women often turn to their religious leaders for counselling and assistance. SAFFI’s research shows that very few religious leaders have received training and support to respond effectively to survivors/victims, perpetrators and afflicted families in these cases.

Join our Cause! Take A Stand Against Gender-Based Violence in Intimate Relationships and Families

Message from Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Families are sacred institutions. It breaks my heart when these most sacred institutions of all become war zones and places of terror where women and children experience brutal acts of violence, abuse and sexual exploitation – largely at the hands of men. This is not just a South African problem; it is a global scourge.That most abusers are family members, trusted friends, colleagues or figures of authority adds insult and betrayal to terrible injury. In many instances, the support that survivors of family violence receive from the law or formal intervention strategies is inadequate and leads to further trauma. And, too often, both abusers and their victims find themselves stuck in a misguided understanding of what God requires of them to heal their relationships. We must be very clear about this: God doesn’t sanction abuse. Not under any circumstances. Never.The South African Faith and Family Institute (SAFFI), established in 2008 calls on all religious leaders to challenge, from a theological perspective, patriarchal traditions and other root causes for this inhumanity. I have been aware of SAFFI’s work since its formation and the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation has had the honour of working alongside SAFFI in executing the Ubuntu in the Home Project. Do support this important initiative!

Our Donors

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Elizabeth Petersen, the Director of SAFFI, and Religious Leaders share their views on the abuse of women and children.

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