Collaboration needed to address Violence Against Women and Children
On Friday, 31 January 2020, the Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Sharna Fernandez led a stakeholder engagement with the South African Police Service (SAPS) and other key role-players namely, the National Department of Justice, the Premiers Department, the Provincial Departments of Community Safety and Education, to address Violence Against Women and Children in Mitchells Plain.
This engagement follows the launch of the 365 Campaign of No Violence Against Women and Children that was held in Cape Town on 11 December 2019, and demonstrates the commitment of the Western Cape Government to building a safe and prosperous province for all residents.
The solutions-based engagement identified service delivery gaps and challenges, with the objective of ensuring ongoing support from all relevant government and civil society organisations.
It was also agreed that a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), to improve the co-ordination efforts of those tasked with addressing violence against women and children in the Mitchells Plain area, needed to be created.
Minister Fernandez said: “A Victim-Centred approach should be used in all interventions to address violence against women and children. In doing so, gaps in interventions must be addressed through the design of new interventions.”
“We need to ensure that Interventions are community-based and networking in the forms of task teams and community forums must be established, and existing platforms strengthened. This will enable the identification of community needs and the development of appropriate interventions at local level” continued Minister Fernandez.
In Mitchells Plain, 176 cases of sexual offences were reported of which, 97 cases were incidents of rape during the past financial year. These numbers do not include the large numbers of cases that go unreported. Addressing the high number of sexual offences through collaborative efforts was a key discussion point made during the stakeholder engagement.
Minister Fernandez concluded: “Only a whole of society approach through the efforts of all spheres of society can help curb the pressure we experience on our available services. We need communities, and civil society organizations to work with government to help alleviate the high levels of trauma and violence taking place in our communities.”
Joshua Covenant Chigome
Spokesperson for the Minister of Social Development, Minister Sharna Fernandez
Tel: 021 483 9217
Cell: 083 661 4949
Private Bag X9112, Cape Town, 8000
14 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town, 8001