Cele confirmed that the number of gender-based violence complaints remained high and concerning. As the lockdown continues fears are growing for victims of gender-based violence. A Cape Town-based organisation The One-Thousand Women Trust says it is seeing more cases because women are staying with their abusers 24-7.
The Trust’s Caroline Peters says they’re also concerned because domestic violence shelters in South Africa are reaching capacity or unable to take new survivors due to lockdown and social distancing regulations. Peters says in order to provide support to survivors, the trust is raising money for 25 women-led groups who work in communities across the country.
Police statistics for the first week of lockdown show that more than 2300 complaints of gender-based violence were recorded. The One-Thousand Women Trust says this is 37 % higher than the weekly average last year.
Peters says, “As an activist working in the Athlone area, I see through the communities that I serve, just from today, I have dealt with two cases, yesterday I dealt with the rape case of the girl in Strandfontein, you know so we have seen from us that works in the Cape Flats how it’s increased. We must remember during this period; women are locked-up with their abusers 24/7. There are withdrawals, addictions and frustrations are high.”
#PoliceMinistry Police Minister, Gen Bheki Cele, welcomed the general decrease in serious & violent crimes, attributing this amongst other factors, the prohibition of the sale & movement of liquor since the #COVID19 nationwide lockdown. #21DaysLockDown SWhttps://t.co/yqh9WkcZIC pic.twitter.com/8gLDhGEGHS
— SA Police Service 🇿🇦 (@SAPoliceService) April 5, 2020
Meanwhile, the 2019-2020 National Crime Statistics are yet to be released officially – however, Minister Bheki Cele says the preliminary reports show a decrease.
Analysing the crime and comparing the first week of the lockdown to the same period in 2019, Minister Bheki Cele confirmed that.
complaints have been registered since the beginning of the lockdown on 27 March 2020 until 31 March 2020 and from these, 148 suspects were charged. The figure in relation to calls or complaints between January 2020 and 31 March 2020 stands at 15 924. Once all reports have been consolidated, the figures will be measured against the number of calls or complaints received through the GBV Command Centre in 2019, where the figure stands at 87 920.
In other news – SA lockdown – SANDF & SAPS accused of misconduct
A family in Alexandra is mourning a loved one after SANDF members allegedly walked into their home and fatally assaulted him.
On Friday, two families reported separate incidences of violence at the hands of SAPS and SANDF officers. Read more