16 days of activism: only 1 934 out of 12 896 domestic violence cases successfully prosecuted in Eastern Cape

Out of the 12 896 violations of domestic violence protection orders reported in the Eastern Cape over the last three financial years, only 1 934 cases were successfully prosecuted. At the onset of the annual campaign of 16 days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children, these shock-figures highlight a web of terror that is trapping thousands of women in abusive relationships. I condemn this brutality in the strongest terms and call on everyone to take a stand against this.

In a reply to a legislature question I asked Safety and Liaison MEC Weziwe Tikana, she said out of the total of 12 896 protection order cases reported over the last three financial years, 9 334 arrests had been made and went to court, but only 1 934 led to successful prosecution – 689 cases out of 3 215 in 2015/16, 841 out of 4 205 in 2016/17 and 404 out of the total of 1 914 court cases so far in  2017/18. For the reply, click here: Reply to q 212 domestic violence

Crimes against women and children need to receive greater priority by the SAPS. There needs to be a rapid response to calls for help so the perpetrators of this ghastly violence know they will be nailed and jailed.

Earlier this year, the South African Demographic and Health Survey showed that close to a third (32%) of women in the Eastern Cape were victims of physical violence in a relationship, far ahead of both the national average and other provinces. The national average is 21%.

Gender-based violence is becoming an increasing phenomenon in the Eastern Cape with more and more women falling victim to violent crimes.

Violence against women has become one of the most prominent crimes in South Africa and in many instances cases that are reported to the police often fall by the wayside with a minority of perpetrators facing the consequences of their actions. More needs to be done to curb the ongoing violence and crimes against women and children.

The Western Cape Government has taken a community inclusive approach to preventing violence against women through the Young Women and Girls Project which is aimed at educating young girls about abuse and what action to take before the situation escalates.

Educating both men and women is a more effective approach to addressing violence against women. These programmes need to start in our schools where attitudes are often formed.

With the theme “Count me in: Together moving a non-violent South Africa forward”, the 16-days campaign is a chance for all communities to reflect on the change that is needed in order for our province to prosper.

The DA’s vision for the Eastern Cape is one of a safe and secure province where our women and children, in particular, feel safe in their homes and on the streets. — Bobby Stevenson MPL, Shadow MEC for Safety and Security