10 000 rapes in three months - SAPS 2020 stats released
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Cape Town - Structural failures within the police’s Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Unit and socio-economic issues are among the reasons civic organisations have attributed to the 72.4% increase in sexual violence, this year.
During the official release of the Crime Statistics for the first quarter of this financial year 2021/2022, Police Minister Bheki Cele, said 10 006 people were raped between April and June 2021.
“This is an increase of 4 201 cases, amounting to a 72.4% increase, compared to the skewed previous reporting period.
“A sample of 5 439 rape cases revealed that 3 766 of the rape incidents took place at the home of the victim or the home of the rapist. 487 rape cases were domestic violence related.”
The Social Justice Coalition (SJC) said the increase “speaks directly to the structural failures” within the FCS Unit.
“The SJC has found that physicality of where these units are situated are seemingly arbitrary, making them inaccessible to the women and children who need them the most.
“The unreasonable location of these FCS units in so far as where their clusters are situated is nowhere near the precincts that are in most need of these services,” the orgsanisation said.
Delft was among the stations that recorded the highest number of rape incidents, Cele said.
For Delft-based community activist Candice van der Rheede, who is also from the Western Cape Missing Persons Unit, this was no surprise, as the area is largely unsafe for women.
“In the morning you will see women cannot walk to the taxi unaccompanied for the fear of getting robbed or raped.
“They have to be accompanied by a man.
“Even if you are driving, there is the fear of being hijacked. Delft has grown tremendously in the last few years, but we still have only one small police station.
“The ratio between police and community is over 1000 people to one police officer, and that is one of the main reasons crime has gone up.
“In terms of social structures, culture and religion still teach children that men are the head in the household and women have to cater to them.
“This creates the mindset that men can do whatever they want to a woman, they have a sense of entitlement.”
Manenberg Women's League’ coordinator Amelia Tara said socio-economic issues were at the root of the violence and needed to be addressed.
“We need to be preventative in our solutions. If you look at most of the areas where rapes are happening, it’s in poorer communities, where the type of socio economic issues we are faced with are so big that we don't care about each other any longer.
“Look at the type of land use, people are living on top of each other. Economic apartheid needs to change, we can’t continue to live in such an unequal society and expect it to change.”