Women, child abuse a concern - govt
Cape Town - The number of contact crimes committed against women and children remains of grave concern, Women, Children, and Persons with Disabilities Minister Lulu Xingwana said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the media launch of the annual 16 days of activism campaign on no violence against women and children, she said much more had to be done to reverse the problem of violence against women and children.
The annual SA Police Service crime statistics showed increases in attempted murder, murder, and sexual offences against children between 2008 and 2009 and 2009 and 2010.
Attempted murder against children rose from 782 to 1 113 and murder from 843 to 965.
Child welfare organisations were also reporting an increase in the number of abandoned children, some of them simply dumped in dump sites and toilets.
"We appreciate the decrease of 4.4% in the total number of sexual offences - from 70 514 to 68 332," Xingwana said.
"However, we are concerned that a significant number of women continue to be victims of various forms of emotional, psychological, and physical abuses, including domestic violence, murder, and rape."
In the past financial year, there were 198 000 contact crimes committed against women.
Most of these were common assault, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, followed by sexual offences, with attempted murder at 2 450 and murder at 3 000.
"All of these challenges require that we approach the 16 days of activism campaign on no violence against women and children with a greater resolve and determination to mobilise all the people of our country to act against abuse.
"A society that does not respect its women and children is a dysfunctional society, and as South Africans, let us declare that we do not, and refuse to be a part of such a society.
"It is incumbent upon all of us not to look away, but to act against abuse of women and children," Xingwana said.
The annual campaign takes place from November 25 to December 10.