A police officer
POLICE in Sunnyside have rolled up their sleeves and strengthened the onslaught on women and children abusers during 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children.

Spokesperson Captain Daniel Mavimbela said that during that process they arrested a repeat offender who had allegedly assaulted his former and current girlfriend. These women were aged aged 34 and 36, he said.

Two weeks ago Mavimbela spoke against the tendency of victims of domestic abuse to withdraw cases against their partners, saying the police would not be demoralised by that. He was proud that an attempt by a 29-year-old woman to withdraw a case of assault against her 40-year-old husband was put aside following a discussion between the police and the National Prosecuting Authority on November 27.

Mavimbela told the Pretoria News there were incidents whereby women who withdrew cases against their partners were later killed or severely harmed by their partners.

He said: “Prospective offenders should take into cognisance that unlike in cases of ordinary assaults, the Domestic Violence Act not only requires the immediate removal of the suspects from the scene for the safety of the victim, but also gives the police the power to arrest and detain the alleged perpetrators.”

Station commander Brigadier Ramakakama Kekana said: “This works towards the attainment of our immediate goal of creating a safer festive season for our community by ensuring that the perpetrators of serious and violent crimes are brought to book.

“It is against the backdrop of the 16 Days campaign that we warn abusers here in Sunnyside about the SAPS motto, which states that ‘One abuse reported, one arrest’.”

The country - and the world - is on the last leg of the annual 16 Days campaign, a time during which people are asked to ensure that vulnerable members of society are protected.

South Africa has the highest number of women abused by intimate partners, with research finding they were hesitant to report abuse because of the stigma associated with it.

Such abuse has been singled out as a leading case of death among South African women.

Janice Mnkandla of Independent Media, speaking as part of the group’s #DontlookAway campaign, said: “A lot of women in abusive relationships find it difficult to get out of those relationships.

“That is why we support this campaign to encourage people not to turn a blind eye when someone is being abused. Abusive people, like their victims, often hide what is going on in their lives. You may find someone in your office is being abused but they are ashamed to talk about it because of the fear of being judged,” she added.