Members Statement: Study the link between liquor use and gender-based violence

Issued by Bobby Stevenson, MPL
DA Leader in the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature

We have now entered the period of 16 days of activism against gender-based violence. A key issue that needs to be answered is, why is research not being done by the province into the relationship between liquor and violent crime of which gender-based violence is a component?

When I asked the question to the MEC of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, whether the liquor board has undertaken any study between the relationship of liquor and gender-based violence and the answer was no.

When I asked the same question to the Department of Safety and Liaison, the answer came back as, “this is a matter of national competence.”

I say this should be a priority!

We believe that research should be conducted into the relationship not only between alcohol and violent crimes but also between alcohol and gender-based violence.

According to the answer to a question I received in September this year, over nine per cent of all crime in the province is liquor related. In the case of assault GBH in this province, it is 55 per cent, common assault is 18 per cent, and sexual offences 18 per cent.

There is thus a high correlation between violent crimes, gender-based violence and the misuse of alcohol.

I believe that it is incumbent of the province, either through the Liquor Board or the Department of Safety and Liaison, to conduct research into the relationship particularly between gender-based violence and alcohol in order to come up with concrete proposals to mitigate the damage that alcohol-related crime is doing to the fabric of our society.

A study inter alia could focus on location, demographics, time and cause, thus allowing for resources to be focused.

In a caring and capable state, we need to get to the root cause of gender-based violence, and there is no doubt in my mind that alcohol misuse is part of that and that research is part of the plan to curtail this hideous crime.