The road to justice

2017-12-07 06:00
Khayelitsha Magistrate Court Manager Velile Yayi(right) empowers women on the legal route available to them in cases of abuse.

Khayelitsha Magistrate Court Manager Velile Yayi(right) empowers women on the legal route available to them in cases of abuse.

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“Education as well as making sure that perpetrators account for their violence is the cornerstone to ending the vicious cycle of abuse in our communities.”

This is the message that Anda Ntsodo, Area 2 Manager relayed during the launch of the 16 Days of Activism programme at the Thusong Centre in Khayelitsha last Saturday.

Ntsodo said that there was a need to educate people’s mindset regarding abuse, for both culprit and victim.

“If a person abuses you, they must account. It doesn’t matter if they are your brother or sister. The bottom line is what they are doing is wrong and they must face the consequences(of their actions).

In the past, we spoke about activism against violence on women and children but today we call it activism against gender based violence because we know that men suffer abuse too,” said Ntsodo.

At the event, which was attended by more than 300 residents from Khayelitsha and Maccassar, Ntsodo also had stern words for men.

“Men must play their role in the community. Real men do not abuse women and children, no matter how angry you are.

I also want you as individuals to carry this message of abuse and activism against gender-based violence into your communities,” he said.

He also noted that the City had various programmes to assist victims of abuse, such as Halfway Houses and counselling services.

Lingelethu West Saps Warrant Officer Andre van der Westhuizen said that police were also determined to ensure the safety of the victim.

“We have processes that the victim must follow when they report a case of abuse at the station.

Dont let an official turn you away by saying you have to go to court first to ask for a protection order before you open a case. Open a case and the protection order can follow.

I deal with a lot of cases regarding domestic abuse and one of the saddest things is that all this violence often happens in front of children,” Van der Westhuizen noted.

He also urged victims to not to withdraw cases and also noted the negative affect that substance abuse was playing in the scourge of abuse. Khayelitsha court manager Velile Yayi also shared regarding the victims withdrawing cases.

“Domestic abuse is a real problem in our community and the other problem is that even the victims don’t follow up on cases.

We have seen on many occasions where the family intervenes and the victims is convinced to drop the charges but that often doesn’t stop the abuse,” he said.

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