A rate of gender violence and femicide that is five times higher than the world average is a serious and extensive problem in Mpumalanga and has an extraordinary traumatic impact on women and children in the province.
It is indicative of a culture of violence and rape. A staggering 6,8% of the women in Mpumalanga say that they have been raped at least once in their life.
The FF Plus in Mpumalanga is of the opinion that these figures could possibly be even higher because victims of violence do not readily report it seeing as sentencing is often inadequate and the sexual offences courts do not do enough to protect victims.
In this way, the rape culture is normalised and it places the onus to protect themselves on the shoulders of women and children instead of prosecuting perpetrators.
It has, thus, become systemic and it is deeply enshrined in institutions, cultures and some even consider it an acceptable tradition.
It is, however, one of the grossest violations of human rights which has far-reaching social and developmental consequences for victims, their families, communities and society at large.
The police service must ensure that there are enough rape kits available at police stations in Mpumalanga and police officers must be trained so that they can support the victims with the needed empathy.
This will ease the backlog of cases. At present, there are 2 797 backlogged violent crime related dossiers in the province and only 46 of these have been partially investigated.
No arrests have yet been made.
Read the original article in Afrikaans by Werner Weber on FF Plus
South Africa Today – South Africa News