Violence on women and children: ‘It is clear Saps is not only the only answer’November 24, 2022
As the country gears up for its annual 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign, quarterly crime statistics yesterday revealed 315 children were killed, 13 000 women assaulted and 989 killed in just three months.
The SA Police Service (Saps) released the crime stats for the second quarter, from July to September, with Police Minister Bheki Cele saying women and children have continued to be victims of violent crimes in SA.
Sexual offences increasing
Tina Joemat-Pettersson, chair of the portfolio committee on police, said it was concerning that, in 90 days, at least four children were killed daily and 100 monthly.
“We cannot accept that, despite the significant resources we are dedicating to protecting women and children, the picture has become increasingly bleak,” she said yesterday.
“Sexual offences are increasing. Between July and September, 13 283 sexual offences were reported, of which 10 590 were rapes. So in 90 days, close to 11 000 rapes were committed.”
“This indicates that at least 120 rapes happen every day over this period.”
Joemat-Pettersson said it was clear the Saps was not only the only answer, as the minister repeatedly said, and that more difficult questions needed to be asked. Researchers needed to find out how South Africans could ever live in a less violent society.
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“We have spoken about our society and the social, psychological and economic challenges in our country.
“It is very clear that our society must change. We have to change our perception in addressing interpersonal violence.
“We are going into the 16 days of activism against, but there’s a 9.8% increase in the murder of children and between July and September alone, almost 32 000 cases of domestic violence reported,” Joemat-Pettersson said.
Violence against women at ‘worrying levels’
Cele said while there has been an increase of more than 5 000 cases since the last crime stats were released, Saps and the NPA were working together and processing 17 410 court-ready gender-based violence and femicide cases.
“It remains worrying and unacceptable at the rate which women [and children] are abused, violated and killed in SA,” Cele said.
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He noted the recent crime figures showed aggression and violence were at worrying levels in SA, with 1 277 women having narrowly escaped death.
According to nonprofit organisation Rhiza Babuyile’s Katlego Assis, gender-based violence costs SA “conservatively” between R28.4 billion and R42.4 billion per year – or between 0.9% and 1.3% of the gross domestic product annually.