Minister of police, Bheki Cele recently revealed that just under 10 000 people were raped between July 2021 and September 2021.
The minister called the rape of 9 556 people over a three month period a ‘deeply disturbing disgrace’.
Just a week after the shocking statistics were released by the Cele, South Africa will embark on the annual international 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence campaign.
The importance of the campaign in South Africa is clearly demonstrated by the violence women and children are exposed to on a daily basis. This as all sexual abuse reported cases in the country increased by 4.7%.
It is important to note that the statistics revealed by the minister only account for crimes that were reported to the police. The actual number is not known as many victims of crime do not report it to the authorities.
Thandiwe McCloy from People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA) says that more needs to be done to give support to survivors of gender based violence (GBV). This as the country's homicide rate in the country is five times higher than the global average and a woman is murdered every 3 hours.
She said, “there definitely needs to be greater improvement in our criminal justice system. Police need to be better trained. Many gender-based violence survivors say that they are not getting proper support from the police and are very adverse to other actors in the criminal justice system”.
McCloy says this as there are often no follow-ups on cases while in some cases the perpetrators of GBV are let out on bail.
“Many women end up staying with abusive partners because they're financially dependent on them so the government needs to do more to provide gender-based violence survivors with housing and skills development opportunities” added McCloy.