Two Mpumalanga districts report 100 rapes every month

2016-06-22 16:50

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Mbombela - Two Mpumalanga district municipalities have had about 100 rape cases reported every month in the past three months.

The Greater Rape intervention Programme (GRIP) reported that the rapes occurred in the Ehlanzeni and Gert Sibande districts, negatively affecting the lives of girls and women between the ages of five and 24.

"We have a total number of 23 care rooms in Mpumalanga. It has a total number of 46 community care workers. In March, we had 106 cases of sexual assault, followed by 113 in April and 87 in May,” said GRIP spokesperson Nomonde Mkhatshwa.

Mkhatshwa said their safe house, which is based in Mbombela, was only able to cater for 15 victims at a time.

"This highlights the vulnerability of young women in communities. That is why GRIP will be conducting a programme focusing on young women between the ages of 19 to 24 that will be based on providing life skills and training through educational groups called rise clubs," she said.

She added that their Ekhaya Shelter provided accommodation to rape victims and abused women and their children

"We had 152 cases of domestic violence in March, 113 in April and 97 in May. Women who want to leave an abusive environment, but don’t have an alternative place to go, to come to us. Not all survivors who report cases have the need to be, or are accommodated, at the shelter.

"In cases where by the shelter is full, we refer survivors to other shelters around Mpumalanga. We are currently looking for a bigger house so that we can accommodate many survivors. The biggest challenge is that we are renting and that means we cannot expand the house we are in and make it an ideal shelter," Mkhatshwa said.

The NPO relies on a R6m budget in order for it to operate for a year.

"As there are evident challenges with funding for NPOs in the country, GRIP is unfortunately one of those organisations who are feeling the pinch. Lack of funding forces the organisation to reduce its operating grounds," said Mkhatshwa.

Provincial social development department spokesperson Ronnie Masilela said GRIP was being funded in line with their annual budget allocation.

"The department has a number of NPOs that we are funding and GRIP is one of them. We fund GRIP in terms of their challenges and therefore they are doing what we would have done," said Masilela. 
Read more on:    mbombela  |  gender equality

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