Review of Gender based Violence Act to help abused women : Sunday 25 November 2012

Review of Gender based Violence Act to help abused women

Sunday 25 November 2012 16:16

SABC

Minister of Women Children and People with Disabilities, Lulu Xingwana.

Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Lulu Xingwana.(SABC)

In the near future it will be illegal for abused women to withdraw criminal cases against their perpetrators. In launching the 16 days of activism for no violence against women and children, Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Lulu Xingwana, lamented the scourge in gender based violence.


Xingwana, who launched the campaign in Kimberley, Northern Cape, says the current review of the Gender based Violence Act will assist in bringing perpetrators to book. The campaign's aim is to end gender based violence.


Speakers painted a grim picture of violence in the country. Despite sexual crimes being down by 14%, minister Lulu Xingwana says many women continue to die at the hands of their partners.


"We have seen many women that have been killed by their husbands, by their partners. Those are some of the victims that have withdrawn cases and we are saying we have got to let the law take its cause," the minister said.


Childline in the province raised alarm about the increase in sexual crimes against boy children. Provincial Childline Director, Naomi Dube says they are also facing a lot of sexual abuse, sexual molestation of boys. "This is a problem that is not going to go away anytime soon". Dube says as civil society, government and also as business they need to come together.

 

Xingwana says she is optimistic that the abuse of women and children will eventually come down

Xingwana says she is optimistic that the abuse of women and children will eventually come down. She says the campaign has made progress since its inception in 1999 by creating awareness and getting everyone involved, including perpetrators of violence, to fight it.


The Minister says violence is still very high throughout the country but they are seeing stability in terms of the rate and percentages of violence and abuse against women and children.


She says the latest report by the Minister of Police demonstrates that sexual offences have come down by 3, 7 % and child killings have also come down by 1.9%. "Yes that is not much, the death of one child or one women is one too many. "


To mark the 16-years of the campaign the department will launch a national council against gender based violence in partnership with the police, justice, health, education and social development.

 

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