Safer Festive Season: Gender-based violence
POSTED ON: November 27, 2023 IN by Admin
All too often in South Africa a story about a woman who has been brutally assaulted or killed by their intimate partner goes viral on social media.
This was the case on 12 November, when a university student in the Western Cape was arrested after allegedly stabbing his wife at a private student residence in Belhar, Cape Town. Within a matter of hours, a video of the incident flooded social media, a shocking reminder of the prevalence of domestic and gender-based violence in South Africa.
Recent crime statistics paint a grim picture. During the 2022/2023 fiscal year, 67,358 women in South Africa were victims of selected contact crimes. Assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm had the highest number of incidences, with 57,847 cases. The statistics also indicated that approximately 6000 women were victims of attempted murder, and 3934 women were victims of murder.
The GBV situation in the country has reached boiling point and all South Africans, together with NGOs, the police and government, need to work together to fight against this scourge.
With the festive season upon us, there will be an increase in the number of abuse and assault incidents against women and children. Below are some tips on what you or a loved one should do if you are a victim of GBV:
- If you are in immediate danger or are seriously hurt, contact the SAPS for urgent assistance. The police will open a case of rape or sexual assault and connect you to a medical professional and a trained counsellor, should you require one;
- As soon as you can, get yourself out of danger and to a place of safety, or reach out to someone you trust who can assist and support you;
- Consider receiving immediate medical assistance to ensure that you have not been seriously injured and, if needed, undergo a sexual assault forensics examination. Hospitals and clinics can also help you report the case if that is something that you wish to do.
Should you or a loved one be a victim of sexual assault or rape you can get assistance from Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCCs) which are one-stop facilities that are mainly located at community hospitals or clinics that have been introduced as a critical part of South Africa’s anti-rape strategy.
The process is:
Step 1: You can report a rape case directly to the SAPS or a TCC, that is based at a community clinic or hospital.
Step 2: TCC staff will assist you in getting immediate medical attention at the Centre.
Step 3: TCC staff will arrange counselling services at the Centre
Step 4: TCC staff will assist you to open a case with the SAPS if you want to do so immediately or even at a later stage
Step 5: TCC staff will arrange for ongoing counselling and court preparation, should the case go to trial.
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