Police are here to help

2016-10-25 12:01
Muizenberg police held a meeting on domestic violence in Vrygrond.

Muizenberg police held a meeting on domestic violence in Vrygrond.

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Muizenberg police say they take domestic violence seriously and are assuring victims they are there to help all the way.

Police officers of this station hosted a domestic violence public participative meeting with victims of domestic violence at Capricorn Primary School in Vrygrond last Wednesday.

The event took place in the build-up to the yearly 16 Days of Activism campaign.

The meeting was well attended. Representatives of various government departments gave input, including the family violence child protection and sexual offences unit, department of social development, department of justice and the local victim empowerment programme coordinator.

Muizenberg police spokesperson Captain Stephen Knapp says the police are very concerned about domestic violence.

“We are calling on people to report [domestic violence]. To us it’s not about the number of cases that we have but letting these women know that we are the pillar of strength and we must be the first point of contact if they are being abused,” he says.

Knapp adds the reported figures are already extraordinarily high, but they are certainly only a small percentage of the total number of actual cases.

“Incidents of domestic violence and abuse are likely to be under-reported. What is certain, though, is that this is a concern in our communities that needs to be addressed. We know it’s happening and we have to address it.

“We also encourage victims not to withdraw cases. Though not so many are withdrawn, we still have people withdrawing; don’t do that.

“Our promise to you is that we will continue to improve our services and make sure that cases are followed through. We know we have failures here and there but our promise is we will continue to improve services.”

Victims of domestic violence were invited by the station commander of Muizenberg police to provide input as to how the service by police officers and other government institutions can be improved.

Juanne Waites from Juanne Waites Training Consultancy, an expert on domestic violence, was the main speaker at the event.

“There is no excuse for domestic violence and no reason to remain a victim of domestic violence. There are places where you can get help and make use of that help,” she said.

Lieutenant-Colonel Maggie Rossouw, acting station commander of Muizenberg police, says they view domestic violence in a serious light. Disciplinary action will be taken against any police officer who fails to comply with the Domestic Violence Act in helping members of the public who report cases.

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