Hot spot technology, such as that used in the Western Cape’s battle against Covid-19, should be used in the war on gender-based violence. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)
Hot spot technology, such as that used in the Western Cape’s battle against Covid-19, should be used in the war on gender-based violence. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)

Call to use Covid-19 technology in fight to defeat GBV

By Mwangi Githathu Time of article published Sep 8, 2020

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Cape Town - Hot spot technology, such as that used in the Western Cape’s battle against Covid-19, should be used in the war on gender-based violence (GBV), according to social development standing committee chairperson Gillion Bosman.

“The successfully implemented hot spot model of the Western Cape, later implemented nationally in the fight against Covid-19, demonstrates what can be achieved with the necessary political will,” said Bosman.

“Statistics gathered by the Social Policy Network (SPN) reveal that across call centres, over 120 000 calls were made by gender-based and domestic violence survivors over the first three weeks of lockdown alone.

“An increase of 65% of such calls has taken place at Vodacom call centres,” said Bosman.

“This data from the SPN and other data from the group SA Women Fight Back demonstrates that we need a smart, data-driven approach to the pandemic of GBV.

“A smart, data-led approach to fight GBV involves identifying socio-economic and geographic patterns in the occurrence of GBV. Using Geographical Information Systems (GIS), we should be able to map victims’ household addresses to identify spatial patterns,” said Bosman.

GIS mapping technology was key to limiting the spread of Covid-19 in the province and the country as a whole by providing access to real-time information and ensuring that vulnerable communities stay safe.

Speaking last week after Agri Western Cape and Vinpro presented initiatives to prevent GBV to the Ovid-19 ad-hoc committee, DA MPL Andricus van der Westhuizen said GBV continued to be a growing concern within the country and must be stopped in its tracks.

“Just as Covid-19 is being defeated through efforts including government and beyond, so it must be with the fight against this horrific pandemic that takes place in so many of our homes.

“Since lockdown, the province recorded a total number 322 cases across alert levels 3, 4 and 5, with the most recorded under level 3, at 140 cases,” said Van der Westhuizen.

EFF spokesperson Nosipho Makamba-Botya said abusers used the lockdown to mistreat women.

“Before the pandemic, it was reported that one in three women would experience violence in their lifetime. But with the lockdown this violence increased and women were trapped in the house with their abusers,” added Makamba-Botya.

Cape Argus

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