On Wednesday 27 October 2021, SAPS Atlantis hosted a community dialogue on gender-based violence (GBV) and femicide. The day saw learners, community stakeholders and gender-based violence and femicide survivors engaged on this ‘pandemic’ mainly faced by women and children.
Captain Elizabeth Munro from the Atlantis police station, explained that the purpose of the dialogue is to establish a gender-based violence desk which aims to concentrate on mediation and counselling sessions between victims and perpetrators. She explained that the hard part of GBV is that it is difficult to police. Victims often suffer in silence and do not report the incidents. She reminded everyone in the room that the only way to find long-lasting solutions is for all government departments to work together. “The perpetrator gets arrested but released in a second, and there is only so much we can do to assist a victim,” Munro added. In South Africa, sometimes known as the ‘destination of femicide’, more than 2,700 women have been murdered since 2000. Despite ongoing campaigning to end GBV, many women in South Africa continue to suffer abuse. It is the responsibility of both individuals and those who are in service to protect women and children. With the annual 16 days of activism campaign starting at the end of November, education and awareness remains important and implementation of the solutions is paramount.