Gender Abuse Gets Attention. 6/7/2017

Published by NEWS24

Various organisations gathered to discuss about issues on gender based violence, domestic violence and substance abuse at the Beautiful-gate Community Centre in Philippi East last Thursday.

The stakeholder engagement under the theme “everyone has inherent dignity and the right to have dignity respected and protected” was organised by the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE).

Nontombi Hlongwane, assistant director for department of community safety Western Cape’s Monitoring and Evaluation Unit, said they are aiming at establishment of Victim Empowerment Programme (VEP) structures in areas which are hot spot for gender and domestic violence.

“The establishment of VEP structures at local level is very important, because victims are local. We have incidents where a man went to the police station in Khayelitsha seeking help as he was being abused by his wife and the police instead turned him away without assistance.

The woman later reportedly pour boiling water over him. Another incident is of an abused woman who was turned away by police at Kuilsriver.

She went there barefoot and semi-naked; the police assumed she was high on drugs.

There are lot of men who are abused by their wives, but they opt not to reporting such cases, but for different reasons,” Hlongwane said.

Pinkie Sobahle, a commissioner at CGE, said they wanted make the organisations understand their mandate about the fight against such violence.

Sobahle said they have recently reported to Parliament their findings on a research they did about ways to respond to Gender Based Violence (GBV) which include painting over old cracks, assessing current programmes to combat gender based violence.

The CGE was established in terms of Section 187 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa in order to promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality.

The CGE shall advance promote and protect gender equality in the country through undertaking research, public education, policy development, legislative initiatives, effective monitoring and litigation.

The event also touched base on the impact of children abuse in communities and families.

The programme also looked at the roles and responsibilities of key service government institutions with the intention of creating a platform of collaboration, coordination and partnership in the fight against gender based violence.

Some of the organisations that were part of the event SAPS and Social Development.

Ndumiso Mateyisi, VEP co-ordinator Metro-South for Social Development, said there is a system being developed which will enable them to track the progress of cases of abuse and human trafficking and other related cases when they are in court.

“Social Development is going to be more available than being visible.

The issue of ex-offenders needs to be revisited, because there are those who come out of prison with skills, but they cannot find employment, because they have criminal records.

We also need to address the issue of social workers who are not available after working hours in police stations,” Mateyisi said.

Mateyisi said there will be another event which will be on a bigger scale and will involve more organisations which were not part of the programme, whose date will be announced soon.