Government assists GBV victims with opening criminal cases against abusers
The Minister for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has said the government was working with civil society organisations to assist vulnerable women and accompany them to report gender-based violence cases with the police.
Responding to an oral question during the virtual sitting of the National Assembly on Wednesday, Nkoane-Mashabane said they were aware that while lockdown was meant to protect the lives of women, it was sending women to a slaughter house in cases of gender-based violence.
She also said one of the interventions was to get perpetrators out of the home if he made life hell for his victims.
"It is the perpetrator who should leave peaceful people alone," Nkoane-Mashabane said when responding to a question on plans in place to ensure victims of gender-based violence got assistance during lockdown.
The minister also said there was an increase in the number of GBV cases during lockdown.
Across the country, she said, civil society organisations have reported an increases in cases related to violence against women and children.
Nkoana-Mashabane said the government has approved the national council for gender based violence and femicide as well as the national strategic plan on GBV.
The inter-ministerial committee was set to establish the national council.
"The department is monitoring emergency response in government and ensures weekly reporting is escalated to the president," she said.
Nkoana-Mashabane said her department has a command centre it shared with Social Development so that the victims who have no means can reach it.
"We use all means of communication in all languages. We even remove children and victims near the perpetrator," she said to a question about measures for victims who might not have access to telephones and be afraid to report owing to proximity to abusers and report to police.
Nkoana-Mashabane could not provide the number of victims assisted during the lockdown.
"We are working as the department with fellow departments in all provinces, shelters and non-governmental organisations."IOL