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Police Stations to Prioritize Gender-Based Violence Cases

“Each domestic beating is a potential murder, each domestic sexual abuse of a child is a potential rape and infanticide”, Minister FA Mbalula

Pretoria, Thursday 17 August 2017; The Action Indaba on Gender Based Violence and Protection of Vulnerable Groups is currently underway in Centurion. The Action Indaba is being hosted under the theme ‘AYIHLOME AGAINST GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE’, which loosely means, “Lets stage a war against Gender-Based Violence”.

The two-day dialogue session which coincides with Women’s month, has attracted various stakeholders from government, civil society, academics, faith based organizations and vulnerable groups.

It’s main aim is to identify and tackle the current gaps and challenges that hamper the fight against Gender-Based Violence and to ensure a sustained national campaign supported by all sectors of society.

During his welcoming address, Acting National Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Lesetja Mothiba, emphasized the role that communities play in assisting the South African Police Service to end the scourge of violence against women and children.

“Despite the fact that much still needs to be done to root out gender-based violence and all other crimes perpetrated against women, we have made progress in fighting the scourge of violence against women. Let’s use opportunity to devise ways of effectively implementing progressive policies to effect change”, said Lieutenant General Mothiba.

He also reiterated the South African Police Service’s commitment to rooting out all forms of criminality.

The Deputy Minister of Police, Mr Bongani Mkongi, also called for stakeholders to engage robustly and add their voice with a view to devising prevention intervention strategies that will assist members of the SAPS to win the fight against Gender-Based Violence.

Various stakeholders took to the podium during panel discussions, highlighting the root causes of Gender-Based Violence and how authorities can improve their response to the pandemic.

Amongst the root causes of criminal activities identified were, the triple challenges of society being inequality, poverty and unemployment.

During his keynote address, the Minister of Police, Mr Fikile Mbalula, outlined the departments’ six point plan which states that;

  • All victims should be treated with respect, dignity and interviewed by a trained police official in a victim sensitive manner;
  • Victims should be assisted in a Victim Friendly Room(VFR) or an alternative room where the statement will be taken in private or other location providing victim support services;
  • Victims will be referred/taken for medical examination by the healthcare professional to obtain medical evidence and complete a medical report including seeing to the health of the victim;
  • The investigation should be conducted by the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Investigation Unit (FCS) or a detective with relevant training;
  • The families and victims of sexual offences, femicide and Infanticide should all be referred to victim support services that are available within the precinct for legal, medical, social and psychological help;
  • Victims should be proactively provided with feedback on the progress of their cases on a continuous basis
Minister Mbalula further stressed the need for members at station level to focus their efforts in ensuring that:

“No Victim is turned away from a police station without a case being opened and a proper interview conducted”.

The two-day session will culminate with the signing of a pledge of commitment of all involved to intensify the war against Gender-Based Violence.

“Let each of us get up on this stage to contribute in the fight against Gender-Based Violence – let us take action, serious action with no finger pointing. When we return next year, let us measure what we have achieved and monitor each other throughout the year on the Action Plan we shall adopt – Let this be and Action Indaba” concluded Minister of Police, Mr Fikile Mbalula.

Media Statement issued by The Department of Police

Media enquiries; Ministry of Police,Mr Esethu Hasane, Cell: 071 259 2422 and South African Police Service, Colonel Athlenda Mathe, Cell: 0820408808

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