Gender violence highlighted

2018-12-12 06:01
Lisa Vetten of the Wits City Institute making her presentation on Wednesday (05/12) at the Platfontein Lodge.Photos: Boipelo Mere

Lisa Vetten of the Wits City Institute making her presentation on Wednesday (05/12) at the Platfontein Lodge.Photos: Boipelo Mere

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The Northern Cape Rape and Criminal Justice System is being applauded for displaying good results in terms of dealing with gender violence.

The province has produced the highest rate of arrests in the country (68%), of which the highest rate of cases (48,2%) were referred to court.

The Free State is also recorded as the province with the highest rate in conviction cases (12,6%).

This is according to Lisa Vetten of the Wits City Institute during her presentation of the violence, victimisation and gender survey conducted in 2016-’17.

She made the presentation to delegates at the Platfontein Lodge who attended the Victim Empowerment Programme (VEP) on Wednesday (05/12).

The survey was meant to address issues based on the role of men as positive agents to eradicate gender based violence, as well as the rights and responsibilities of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and questioning (LGBTIQ) community and to strengthen the criminal justice system.

Issues relating to the re-integration of offenders in the community and the role of faith based organisations in the fight against gender based violence, were also addressed.

According to Vetten other provinces should apply some of the measures put in place by the Northern Cape in terms of solving cases, as they have something good to work on.

According to Vetten’s pre­sentation, the Northern Cape has the lowest rate of stranger rape cases in the country (22,1%), with the highest percentage of perpetrators with previous convictions (41,8%) and the highest percentage of victims withdrawing charges (42,1%).

According to the survey the Northern Cape has the fourth-lowest percentage of physical violence (18,7%) and the third-lowest sexual violence (4,5%) rate.

“In the Northern Cape 2,2% women reported ‘often’ experiencing physical violence in the 12 months preceding the survey,” Vetten said.

A small percentage (6%) of sexual violence is experienced at the hands of an intimate partner, of which the Eastern Cape tops the list.

Vetten elaborated on the distance between the victim and the perpetrator, saying the sad reality is that many women are still denying that violence has happened to them.

“One in four women admitted to experience sexual violence and more than one in three men said ‘I have committed sexual violence’.

“That is an indication that men are aware of what they are doing while it is still difficult for women to admit that this has happened to them,” Vetten said.

According to the 2016-’17 survey in terms of knowledge of medical services for victims, the Northern Cape achieved 97,4%.

A total of 65,7% of Northern Cape residents knew of counselling services, while the amount of people who knew of a shelter is 12,5%.

Vetten mentioned the need to think about poly-victimisation – multiple forms of victimisation by different people and the need to pay close attention to the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator.

“We need to prioritise and address men’s violence towards each other.

“We must also actively address the difficulties children face and give better support to their care-giver(s),” said Vetten.

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