‘Lipstick’ for women’s safety

2013-12-02 00:00

JUSTICE Department director-general Nonkululeko Sindane launched “My Safety Plan against Domestic Violence” at the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

The plan serves as a preventative tool against domestic homicides and aims also to protect victims’ children. It is a guideline on how a victim can escape unharmed during a violent attack.

The safety plan is disguised as a lipstick and inside there is an information strip on how to prepare for an escape, a list of emergency items one needs to take with one and important emergency contact numbers. There are booklets, too, and they can always be kept with you.

“It also assists the victim to take appropriate actions for safety when preparing to leave an abusive relationship,” said Sindane.

She said most victims die at the hands of their partners because they never leave the abusive relationships.

She told The Witness that the safety plan will be printed in different languages, including Braille.

But she also hopes that people will learn the tips well.

“Before the law comes into play you must be able to protect yourself. The law must be your last gate.”

She said she was heartbroken by the rape scourge in the country.

“The media reported the worst horrific rape of a six-week-old baby who is now fighting for her life in a hospital ICU. It was alleged that she was raped by her uncle.”

She said this happened as the country marks 16 Days of Activism of No Violence Against Women and Children.

Sindane said the infant, from the Northern Cape, is probably the youngest victim of domestic violence and described the crime as heinous.

“This is not a record we’re proud to have.”

She said by the end of December, they want to comission 22 Sexual offences Courts.

The names of the convicted sex offenders have increased from 2 792 to 11 418 in the national register for sex offenders as at March 2013 to October this year. In October, 3 384 sex offenders were registered.

KwaZulu-Natal became the third province in terms of reported cases of abuse against older people under the Older Persons Act, when it recorded 319 such cases in the 2012/13 financial year.

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