120 000 GBV victims called helpline in 3 weeks

Published Jun 6, 2020


DURBAN – During level 4 and 5 of the national lockdown, gender based violence (GBV) was noted to have risen sharply according to South African Civil Society for Women's Adolescent's and Children's Health (SACSoWACH)

Precious Robinson, chairperson of SACSoWACH said "The national government's gender-based violence (GBV) and femicide command centre, which runs a toll-free, 24-7 emergency call centre, recorded that more than 120 000 victims rang the national helpline for abused women and children in the first three weeks after the lockdown started - double the usual volume of calls."

The increase of GBV cases were believed to be the result of social and economic pressures which presented itself during the level 4 and 5 of national lockdown.

António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General said: "We know lockdowns are essential to suppressing Covid-19, but they can trap women with abusive partners. Over the past weeks, as economic and social pressures and fear have grown, we have seen a horrifying global surge in domestic violence."

Since the country has moved into level 3 of the national lockdown, there is a concern that GBV will increase as alcohol sales in the country is no longer banned. Gauteng has already experienced a surge in alcohol related incidents.

Bandile Masuku, Gauteng Health MEC said: “We have seen an upsurge in numbers in our trauma units since alcohol sales were allowed. Trauma and gender-based violence have increased.”

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