The National Shelter Movement of South Africa (NSMSA) is urging government and corporate decision-makers to recognise the valuable role that shelters play in disrupting the cycle of gender-based violence (GBV).

That’s according to the report on Raising Women’s Voices in South African Shelters.

These shelters provide safe spaces for victims of abuse to rebuild their lives, but they are often insufficiently resourced.

Ahead of Thursday’s 16 Days of Activism Campaign, Executive Director at Saint Anne’s Homes, Joy Lang is calling for more support to shelter organisations.

“They firstly don’t understand the dynamics of GBV and also especially intimate partner violence because we see a lot of this, that is obviously what leads to femicide. The disconnect, I found it quite strange in the beginning when I started working in the sector. The first time a survivor actually realises that she is in an abusive relationship is when she steps into a shelter. So what that is saying to us is that GBV has been normalised.”

Prayer service in Orange Farm

Gauteng Community Safety MEC , Faith Mazibuko on Tuesday joined various faith-based organisations and the community of Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg, in a service to pray for an end to gender-based violence.

Orange Farm is one of Gauteng communities that contributes significantly to high levels of crimes perpetrated against women and children.

The prayer service was part of the build-up towards the launch of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign.

Rape

Last week, Police Minister, Bheki Cele, revealed that 10 006 people were raped between April and June 2021.

He said, “This is an increase of 4 201 cases, amounting to a 72.4% increase, compared to the skewed previous reporting period. This number drops drastically to 2.8% if a comparison was made to the normal period prior to lockdown. A sample of 5 439 rape cases revealed that 3 766 of the rape incidents took place at the home of the victim or the home of the rapist, 487 rape cases were domestic violence-related.”

Cele said the Inanda Police Station in Kwa-Zulu Natal, Delft in the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape’s Lusikisiki police stations recorded the highest incidents of rape.

“The 47.1% increase is recorded for sexual offences when compared to the previous skewed reporting period. This figure is revised to 5.0% if compared to the previous normal period of 2019/2020 financial year,” Cele says.

Cele releases Crime Statistics for the 1st Quarter of this financial year 2021/2022: