Gauteng Speaks On Violence Against Women and Children

Gauteng Premier David Makhura met with the senior management of the South African Police Services (SAPS), and the MEC for Community Safety Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane on Wednesday 24 May 2017, to discuss a battle plan to deal with the high crime rate in the province as well as the recent scourge of violence against women and children.

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Those who attended included the Provincial Commissioner, Lt General Deliwe De Lange, Deputy Provincial Commissioners, Heads of Specialised Units and Clusters Commanders.

Crime and drugs have become the top two major concerns affecting the citizens of Gauteng. Urgent and decisive steps need to be taken to make our province much safer for all, especially for women and children.

The meeting noted with concern that day to day operational statistics indicate that there has been an increase in reported cases of domestic violence and abduction of young girls. There has also been a notable trend of brutality in these crimes.

It was agreed that the full implementation and compliance of the Domestic Violence Act 116 of 1998; Criminal Law (Sexual offences and related matters) Act 23 of 2007; Prevention and Combatting Trafficking in Persons Act 2013 was necessary to end violence against women and children.

Gauteng will be a lead province in law reform – targeting areas in law that are detrimental for victims. Gauteng government will ensure that barriers to women reporting abuse are removed, and that women are supported to pursue cases rather than withdrawing charges under pressure.

The provincial government undertook to work and engage with its partners in the criminal justice system value chain to ensure that it is not easy to withdraw domestic violence cases because withdrawing cases perpetuates the cycle of violence.

It was noted that withdrawing a domestic violence case should only be done by a Magistrate similar to withdrawing a sexual offences case.

Some of the plans that the provincial government will undertake to curb the escalation of violence against women include establishing a toll-free line for whistle blowing.

 Coordination in all spheres of government and participation in the Rapid Response Task Team was cited as a key element.

Going forward, the meeting agreed that there would be a strong visibility of trained victim supporters with clearly marked clothing at all Gauteng police stations. The victim supporters will provide the necessary privacy to allow women to report their cases in a free environment.

The SAPS has made a commitment to re-establish specialised units such as the Murder and Robbery and Narcotics units and strengthen the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences and Taxi Task Teams. Other interventions include asylum seekers registering and reporting at police stations.

Source: allafrica.com

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