Photo Credit:Ashraf Hendricks.
Minister of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, said as government,they will continue to improve the response to GBVF by ensuring that perpetrators are brought to book, whilst taking good care of survivors.
The Minister’s remarks come as South Africa continues to experience a high prevalence of GBVF. Government continues to work with society in the implementation of the National Strategic Plan (NSP), as part of its efforts to deal with GBVF.
The NSP is government and civil society's multi-sectoral strategic framework to realise a South Africa free from gender-based violence and femicide.
It recognises all violence against women – across age, location, disability, sexual orientation, sexual and gender identity, nationality and other diversities – as well as violence against children.
“As government, we recognise and acknowledge that we cannot do this alone. This is a societal problem that needs all of us to rally all our efforts and resources collectively and confront this enemy head on,” Nkoana-Mashabane said.
She called on communities to expose perpetrators of GBVF by reporting incidents of abuse to local organisations, and South African Police Service (SAPS).
Communities have been urged to work with the police and report any tip-offs to the Crime Stop Hotline on 08600 10111 or send an anonymous SMS to Crime Line on 32211, or to call the Gender-Based Violence Command Centre on 0800 428 428.
“Communities must come together against gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) and expose perpetrators and not turn a blind eye to abuse,” the Minister said.
The Minister has noted news of the discovery of a mutilated body of a woman in Eersterus, Pretoria, this past weekend.
She was allegedly stabbed to death by her lover on Saturday, 13 June 2020.
The whereabouts of the perpetrator are currently unknown. Anyone with information on this case can contact SAPS Captain Mokwane at Eersterus SAPS on 0828228337.
Nkoana-Mashabane said the country is still shattered by the discovery of the body of Tshegofatso Pule, a young woman whose body was recently found in Dobsonville, Soweto.
Pule was stabbed to death and found hanging from a tree in an open veld. She was eight months pregnant.
“Naledi Phangindawo, Nompumelelo Tshaka, Sibongiseni Gabada and countless other young women have lost their lives for no reason and this must stop. Government acknowledges the crisis with regards to GBVF and condemnes the brutal killing of innocent women and children.
“Our sincere condolences go to all the families who lost their loved ones in the hands of heartless men. As government, we want a society where women, children and other vulnerable groups can live freely, without fear of either being abused or killed. We reconfirm our commitment to fighting the scourge of GBVF with more vigour,” the Minister said.
The Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities has developed pathways for victims and communities to help spot occurrences of GBVF and find ways to escape or seek help.
They included the following actions that can be taken by individuals:
- Have a friend or relative that you can call on should you need help;
- Create a code for whoever your safe person is so that they know you are in danger;
- Share the code with your children;
- You could also share a sign with your neighbours that you will use to indicate to them that you need help;
- Have emergency numbers available; i.e. SAPS, local NGO, Call Command Centre;
- When you escape, leave at the safest time, e.g. when the abuser is asleep, or make an excuse to go out;
- Go to a safe place like a family member’s house, a local NGO, SAPS, etc