Tribute to victims

2017-10-05 06:01
Kholiwe Ketami, of Women’ Network at the police station, Chief Erick Galada, Sergeant Nonkosi Maphukatha and Nozibele Daba, of Phaphamani Sizwe Project, on Friday, at Langa Police Station.    PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

Kholiwe Ketami, of Women’ Network at the police station, Chief Erick Galada, Sergeant Nonkosi Maphukatha and Nozibele Daba, of Phaphamani Sizwe Project, on Friday, at Langa Police Station. PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

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Langa Police Station officers rounded off the Heritage Month of September by paying tribute to victims of domestic violence and rape.

Sergeant Nonkosi Maphukatha, the officer responsible for the Victim Friendly Room(VFR) said the event was set to show that they care about the victims of the crimes and also to explain to them what to do in case of violent crimes.

“They should not be alone. We want to show them care. Domestic violence is prevalent in Langa. Alcohol abuse mostly plays a big part in this, more especially during weekends,” Maphukatha said.

Maphukatha said they work close with Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Investigation Unit (FCS) and psychologists.

She said they try by all means to mend relationships between couples and advise them to get protection order against the perpetrators only as a last resort.

“We do not promote taking a protection order, because it puts marriages in difficult situations. We advise them to take protection orders only when there is no other option,” she added.

Maphukatha said they are also concerned about the victims of domestic violence who open cases, mostly on weekends, and later withdraw them.

“Once the case number is issued, we cannot reverse it. People should refrain from doing that, because it is perjury that we cannot accept.

We are also going to arrest those who give their social grants cards to loan shacks, for children end up being victims, because they go hungry,” she added.

A 38 year old woman, whose name cannot be published to protect her identity, who is a victim of domestic violence, said something needs to be done about such abuse.

“My husband goes out to drink alcohol and get drunk. He then comes home to beat me up.

Our three children always witness this and that makes them victims as well.”

She said the abuse started in 2006 after she opened a case or rape against his nephew, who took luxuries on our daughter, who was 16-years-old then.

“He defends his nephew, whom he says is feeling the cold in jail. He is always angry with me,” she said.

Nozibele Daba, of Phaphamani Sizwe Project, said they deal with a number of cases of domestic violence in particular.

“It is a big problem here. We see a lot of victims. Some children are neglected by their families because of their HIV status.

Some children stay with their grandmothers. The grandmothers give the children pills for HIV, but they lie to them saying they are for headache or anything else and some of the children end-up defaulting.

Children also become victims because some parents or grandmothers use the social grants to buy alcohol. So children go hungry as result. Alcohol abuse is the reason for most cases. It is a big problem on month-ends. There are men who are also abused by their wives or partners,” Daba said.

Chief Erick Galada said there is a need to show support to the victims of crime.

“We partnered with the police to fight domestic violence. We are saying police should not only focus on perpetrators and forget about victims. We must go back to our roots,” Galada said.

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