South Africa: The fight against GBVF is a social fight

Assistant Secretary of Justice and Constitutional Development John Jeffery says the fight against gender-based violence and feminicide (GBVF) is not one that government can win on its own.

He spoke to GBVF during the presentation of the Social Change Assistance Trust (SCAT) research.

The research aimed to find out and understand how community-based counseling organizations deal with GBVF and its impact in rural areas.

Jeffery stressed that the government has made progress in implementing laws and other measures to combat the Scourge, but communities also need to get involved.

“In the past two years, South Africa has faced some tough questions about gender-based violence. Our country has some of the most advanced laws in the world for dealing with gender-based issues, so why is gender-based violence so high? What? Can be done about it.” improve underreporting?

“We cannot rely on legislation alone when we try to combat and prevent GBVF – communities, civil society and religious institutions all have a role to play,” the deputy minister said on Wednesday.

Jeffery stressed that tackling the root cause of gender-based violence is to engage men and tackle the patriarchal systems that still exist.

“We have to talk to men and boys because men are the dominant perpetrators of GBVF. Men are often the problem – and therefore men have to be part of the solution.

“Studies have shown that patriarchal value systems still prevail in South African families and communities. Some men believe that male dominance and male pretensions are the norm. Some men believe that domestic violence is a private affair that takes place behind closed doors and is therefore acceptable. “These are the attitudes we need to change,” said Jeffrey.

He said that the realization of the need for dialogue led the department to establish “Under the Tree Dialogues” in the communities.

“The goal is to engage vigorously with men and boys in order to change the toxic attitudes and beliefs about masculinity and patriarchy that lead to violence against women and children.

“Our schools, our religious institutions and our communities also play a fundamental role here, and if a special one [community based advice organisation] notes that such a dialogue must take place in a particular area or community, [they] should feel free to contact us to make these dialogues a reality. “

Jeffery listed some key interventions the government has put in place to combat GBVF and “provide improved services and protection” to GBV survivors and victims. These include:

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Three anti-GBV laws recently passed by Parliament to strengthen the response to GBV and provide further protection for GBV survivors.

The establishment of sexual offense courts that provide victim support services.

The use of on-camera testimony for children, people with intellectual disabilities and all traumatized victims.

Approving regulations that establish a catalog of support services and resources that must constitute a Section 55A Sexual Offenses Tribunal. These services include court support, court preparation, emotional containment, trauma debriefing, counseling, private testimony, mediation services, and information services.

GBVF victims and survivors can call the Gender-Based Violence Command Center toll free on 0800 428 428 or send a “Please call me” on * 120 * 7867 # with a request that a social worker contact them, or they can text the floor “Help” to 31531.

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