COMBAT ABUSE: A young woman stands next to a rain-spattered window. Picture: Tracey Adams/ANA
The high consumption of alcohol over the festive season plays a major role in fuelling domestic violence, Community Policing Forums (CPF) have said.

Mitchells Plain CPF chairperson Abie Isaacs said during September more cases of domestic violence than gang violence were reported. Incidents of gang violence were usually much more, he pointed out.

“Due to more cases of domestic violence being reported to the Mitchells Plain police in September, the local CPF embarked on an awareness campaign.

"It is likely to increase during the festive season, when there is a lot of alcohol consumption," Isaacs said.

"There are also cases of children who harass their parents for money for drugs. We need more public engagement and educating of the community in reporting these cases."

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He emphasised that people need to be better informed about domestic violence.

"The violence perpetrated against women and children is often brutal. We condemn any form of violence. The problem we also have is that cases are withdrawn in the courts,” Isaacs said.

Kadar Jacobs, Manenberg CPF chairperson, also said violence against women and children during the festive season increased due to the abuse of alcohol.

“This is the time when drinking gets out of hand. People have money and they buy alcohol. The violence then erupts between spouses and even boyfriends and girlfriends. It is the children who are the worst affected, and they are then taken to shelters.

“We also have a victim empowerment centre at the police station where the children and women are assisted and receive counselling. As the CPF, we view domestic violence as very serious.

"The centre is a very nice facility and has nappies and milk formula for babies. But the grave concern is when women withdraw the cases afterwards. In these situations there is nothing the police can do,” Jacobs said.

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Hanover Park CPF chairperson Ebrahim Abrahams reiterated that a lot of cases of abuse and violence are still not reported to the police.

“Women are scared of their abusers and often withdraw the cases. But the police also need to take the cases more seriously when they are reported.

"Some people have said when they reported cases they were not taken serious. The CPF regards it in a very serious light,” he said.

Chairperson of the Kensington CPF Mogamat Nordien said the biggest problem in domestic violence cases was victims who did not want to open cases.

“A woman would, for instance, come to the police station and complain that her husband doesn't give her money for food. This is how many of the arguments start, which lead to abuse.

"During the holidays people are also usually in a festive mood and a lot of alcohol is consumed,” he said.

For 16 Days of Activism to end violence against women and children, Independent Media will bring you stories behind the statistics. Please DONT LOOK AWAY. We can all make a difference by supporting victims and organisations working to build a future without violence.

Cape Argus