SAPS needs to step up fight against abuse

SAPS needs to step up fight against abuse

The South African police service needs to improve with a matter of urgency its response to gender based violence.

Dubravka Simonovic UN_jacanews
Slindelo Masikane

This according to a preliminary report into violence against women by the United Nations Special Rapporteur, Dubravka Simonovic, who's been in the country for the past 8 days.

Simonovic has met with government authorities and civil society groups in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town, East London and Diepsloot as well as visited various shelters.

During her visits Simonovic examined the overall situation of violence against women and girls, gathering first-hand information from survivors of such violence and said survivors of gender based violence experience victimisation when reporting violence against them.

She said, despite the lack resources, the police have a duty to provide a conducive environment for reporting cases.

"There is an urgent need to create a conducive environment for reporting cases with police officers meeting victims with understanding, but foremost with knowledge of their positive duties to protect women in domestic violence cases. I have heard to many times that women seeking help have been turned down and told to go back to their abusive partners and communities," she said.

Simonovic will present her findings to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2016. 

(Video and photo by Slindelo Masikane)

(Edited by Suné du Toit)

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