Curb domestic violence - DA

2010-11-29 16:23

Cape Town - The DA on Monday urged President Jacob Zuma's administration to consider implementing a range of practical measures to help curb domestic violence against women.

"We consider these to be the basics that the Zuma administration should get right if it is to help build a safer society," DA spokesperson Denise Robinson and Debbie Schafer told a media briefing at Parliament.

There was already a raft of legislation in place, ostensibly to deal more effectively with cases of crimes against women and children. However, their efficacy had been compromised by the lack of implementation of many of their basic provisions and often a lack of vision for much-needed supporting mechanisms that could improve the way these social problems were addressed, they said.

Among other things, the DA proposed that the Chrysalis Academy Model be adopted nationally.

The Chrysalis Academy, established by the DA provincial government in the Western Cape, identified youth at risk of abusive or violent behaviour and allowed them to undergo a residential programme for three months before they re-entered their communities to make a positive impact on them.

Compliance should be monitored

Police stations' compliance with the Domestic Violence Act should be regularly monitored. The act, which required police officers to keep proper records of domestic violence incidents and required all officers to be trained in responding to domestic violence, should be enforced at all police stations.

The police secretariat should improve monitoring and enforcement, and urgently attend to necessary amendments to the act, the most important of which should be removing the provision allowing for police to escape the sanction of misconduct for non-compliance.

After 10 years, nobody should be exempt from non-compliance, and if they had a reasonable excuse, that could be given at the disciplinary hearing. Further, it was necessary to ensure rape prophylactic kits were available at all police stations.

Every victims of rape should be able to obtain a kit, at any police station, to provide her with the medication necessary to prevent HIV, and every police officer should know how to use these kits.

Other proposals included training volunteers as victim service workers, special measures to enforce maintenance payments, increased funding for social workers, psychologists and counsellors, both at police stations and courts, and establishing more safe houses and subsidised shelters for victims of abuse.

"There is nowhere for these victims to go after they have reported a crime. If they return home, their lives could be endangered."

The few existing shelters did not allow children, and as such, new safe houses would have to be more accommodating to the families of abused women.

"Getting the basics right requires political will... starting at the top. Indeed, President Zuma should take the lead in this campaign and motivate other officials to implement strategies that decrease gender violence," they said.

  • Moferefere - 2010-11-29 17:11

    Given the wealth of research resources and analytical capacity that are abundant within the DA, one would have thought that the official opposition party would have suggested alternative and more radical remedies to the social problems of post apartheid South Africa. DA proposes palliative solutions that suggest the party's pretense that the root of the social problems that derive from the lopsided government economic policies are not a result of a flawed settlement that was brokered by the ANC and the National Party prior to the 1994 democratic elections. 1. The majority of poor South Africans inherited the debt of the apartheid state and were never compensated for the centuries of theft of their land and labour. 2. The settlement was of limited political convenience between the ANC and NP, with the former making unspecified"historic compromises" during the negotiations without being mandate by blacks. 3. The criticism of DA against the crony capitalism of the ruling party is not adequate, particularly in respect of the ongoing self allocation of land belonging to rural citizens for the advancement of the commercial interest of the ruling party and their cronies. 4. The bulk of the economic policies of government are developed by industrial lobby groups, particularly in the areas of finance, science and technology, and agriculture whose members constitute the wealthy component of the DA constituency. Will DA advance economic policies that are distinct from ANC's?

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