Gender-based violence (GBV) is a crime that is primarily committed behind closed doors. It is difficult to observe because it is obscured by silence and anxiety.
The full amount of the pain is only revealed when GBV victims seek assistance. Victims, who are frequently afraid and bewildered at this point, want tangible assistance that offers them hope.
While continuous local and worldwide activities, such as the targeted yearly 16 Days of Activism, bring the brutal reality of GBV to the forefront, Kathryn Baxter, the manager of socio-economic development at the Spar Group, underlines the significance of practical help, particularly in South Africa.
Through partnerships with LifeLine and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the Spar Group said it is now devoting more than R7 million per year to assisting victims of GBV.
In addition, R1,500,000 million is spent each year on anti-GBV teaching and awareness campaigns in schools in conjunction with TruLife.
“Another sizeable investment is due to be announced in the coming months as we undertake two major projects in our fight against GBV, a rural GBV reporting and support centre and haven for abused women in KwaZulu-Natal, as well as the provision of a DNA laboratory in the province,” said Baxter.
In a country where 52,000 incidences of violence against women are recorded each year, slightly more than half of all femicides are linked to intimate partners, the national conviction rate for GBV assaults is a pitiful 3%.
“This number is horrendous. And the situation calls for immediate action. It is crucial that facilities are established in under-serviced rural areas where women lack support systems,” Baxter said.