Western Cape Government Holds GBV and Femicide Summit
The Western Cape Government hosted its Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Summit on Thursday, 24 October to report on the progress made in this sector, and to give civil society a platform to make inputs ahead of the Presidential Summit next month.
The theme for the summit was “Accountability, Acceleration and Amplification Now” and it was held in preparation for the National Presidential GBVF Summit taking place in November.
The summit focused on how, as a collective of government working together with civil society organisations, communities, and citizens, can bring about lasting change.
This comes after ten police stations account for almost 30% of all gender-based violence cases that have been reported in the Western Cape.
The stations with the highest levels of reported GBV cases are Delft, Mfuleni, Mitchells Plain, Harare, Nyanga, Kraaifontein, Khayelitsha, Gugulethu, Worcester and Kleinvlei.
According to SAPS, these stations reported 27% of all GBV cases in the province. Police also added that gender-based violence occurs the most over weekends and between 21:00p.m and midnight, with women between the ages of 26 and 35 most likely to be victims.
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde emphasized the province needed to place increased focus on reducing the number of women falling victim to GBV.
“Barely a week goes by where we do not have a women or child fall victim to gender-based violence or femicide in our province and country. This scourge haunts me”, he said.
The premier added that the GBV command centre recorded more than 400 cases in a year, adding that these instances were only those reported, and it was likely much higher.
The most recent quarterly crime statistics, which were between April and June, shows that 116 women were murdered in the Western Cape, a 25% year-on-year increase. Another 159 attempted murder cases were reported, along with 1 997 assault cases.
However, Winde said the province was starting to see the benefits of its safety plan, implemented three years ago.
A key component of this plan had been the rollout of Law Enforcement Advancement Plan officers and added that more than 3000 people are killed every year.
He highlighted the murder rate in Mitchells Plain had decreased by 42% in the last quarter, by 12% in Khayelitsha, and by 16% in Kraaifontein and said that he is delighted about the Violence Prevention Unit that will initiate 1st April 2023 to tackle the GBV.
Winde then concluded by emphasizing that more needs to be done in order to tackle the issue of Gender-based violence and femicide in the province in order to protect and empower both women and children.
“The Provincial Government has implemented a host of interventions to combat GBVF, but more can and will be done. The issue remains one of the Western Cape’s most dire and pressing problems. GBVF remains a barrier for many of our citizens to living dignified lives. We have to do more to not just protect women and children but also empower them”, Winde lamented.While Police brigadier, Monica Swarts said for crimes against children 0-17 years, between April , 2021 to March, 2022, girls and boys within the age cat egory of 15 to 17 were mostly affected.
For girls, she said that the top cases were sexual gratification, domestic violence and non-domestic violence-related arguments. For boys, the top causes were non-domestic violence-related arguments, gang-violence, sexual gratification, followed by domestic violence.
“Unfortunately you will note during the 2021/2022 year compared to the previous financial year, we have seen increases in all of the categories: murder, attempted murder, assaults, as well as sexual offences.”
“And in terms of sexual offences, the volume increases were noted in the sexual assault category, while rape in this category did show a reduction”, she said.
By Lulama Klassen