GBV victims urged to report domestic abuse

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Gender Equality activist, Mbuyiselo Botha, has reiterated the call for women to report instances of domestic abuse to police stations. She says law enforcement officials are required to attend to gender-based violence complaints.

Non-Governmental Organisations across the globe are warning that hundreds of women are facing a double pandemic, as they struggle to stay safe from the coronavirus and avoid potentially violent partners.

Botha says victims of gender-based violence can also contact the 24-hour gender-based line for assistance on 0800 428 428.

“It can’t be correct not to report because there are consequences if policemen and women are not able to take your case and say to you this is a cultural issue, go and talk it over. If you go to the police station and you don’t find joy, you have the Commission for Gender Equality and the commissioner at the station. Women should know that it is your right to approach the commissioner or higher up when you are not happy. There are also 24-hour gender-based lines that must be used.”

The video below provides gender-based violence statistics in South Africa:

Meanwhile, in Limpopo, there have been isolated cases of gender-based violence reported in Limpopo since the start of the lockdown.

The Social Development Department and the non-governmental organisation, Suid Afrikaanse Vroue Federasie, say the incidents are likely to be higher since most victims are locked up with their abusers.

A 33-year-old man whose identity is being protected, says his stepfather assaulted his mother and set their house alight at a village outside Thohoyandou. He says the suspect has been arrested and the victim is receiving counselling.

“I was telling him that this is the last time you did it and get away with it, and then he was like ‘you can’t tell me how to treat my wife’ and stuff like that. I told him that I will get him arrested. He was like ‘no problem.’ Then he set the house alight. We are staying at grandmother’s house. There have been social workers that are working with her. I have heard that he was arrested and police were looking for him at the hospital because he also tried to set himself alight. What I heard is that he has been released on free bail.”

Victims of domestic abuse can contact the Gender-Based Violence Command Centre on the toll free number 0800 428 428.

The graphic below shows government’s measures to deal with gender-based violence: