Written by: Pearl Kupe
Article Source: Supplied
In September 2019, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a state of emergency in South Africa in respect of the escalating gender based violence (GBV) statistics. Proposed amendments have since been made to the domestic violence bill as a result.
Constitutional Court on GBV
The Constitutional Court had this to say on the issue of GBV:
“All crime has harsh effects on society. What distinguishes domestic violence is its hidden, repetitive character and its immeasurable ripple effects on our society and, in particular, on family life. It cuts across class, race, culture and geography, and is all the more pernicious because it is so often concealed and so frequently goes unpunished.”
Whilst it is true that there are men who have been victims of gender based violence, it is also true that gender based violence in South Africa largely impacts and affects women. This is not only the case in South Africa, but in most nations around the world.
In response to the escalating GBV statistics, a number of options have been looked at, the most immediate being amendment of legislation.
16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM Yesterday 25 November marked the beginning of the international 16 Days of activism campaign against Gender Based Violence! At Global Forum of Women Entrepreneurs (GFWE) we stand against Gender Based Violence and all forms of violence!
Domestic Violence Amendment Bill
The proposed amendments made in the Domestic Violence Amendment Bill aim to amend the Domestic Violence Act 116 of 1998 . An invitation was issued to the public, stakeholders, and interested persons to submit written comments in September 2020. Invitations were also issued to submit comments on the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act Amendment Bill; and the Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Bill.
The DVA Bill has streamlined the manner in which victims of GBV and domestic violence may get protection orders and it proposes that individuals should be able to apply for protection orders “remotely”, ie without having to go to court. This is because in many instances they live in fear of their lives, are being intimidated and/or may not be allowed to leave the premises they reside at.
New terminologies are also included in the bill to include “coercive treatment”. What will be of prime interest to the Church and Body of Christ, in particular is the inclusion of the term “spiritual abuse” in the bill. This is intended to address issues of sexual abuse within the Church and in other faiths.
Sexual grooming by certain “Ministers of the gospel” has been a problem in the Body of Christ. The inclusion of this term, may empower the judicial system to better deal with such charlatans.
Another key, and slightly controversial provision now aims to criminalise persons who are aware of domestic violence cases and fail to report such cases to either a social worker or the police.
In essence the bill is making it mandatory for individuals to report domestic violence cases that they are aware of.
Mandatory Reporting has been treated with suspicion in some quarters and claimed to be ineffective. The one clear positive connected with mandatory reporting, is that it makes GBV and domestic violence an area of responsibility for all citizens and makes it possible for society overall to take ownership for GBV and violence related matters.
16 Days Of Activism International Campaign
Yesterday 25 November, 2020 marked the beginning of the international 16 Days of activism campaign against Gender Based Violence!
At Global Forum for Women Entrepreneurs, GFWE we stand against Gender Based Violence and all forms of violence! We encourage every citizen to hold hands and battle against the scourge of GBV & violence together. Let us not remain silent on the issue. We encourage everyone participate in putting an end to this debilitating disease.
Simunye – We Are One!
Date published: 26/11/2020
Dr Pearl Kupe is an attorney and an international consultant to world leaders and international organisations. She is the international president of the Global Forum for Women Entrepreneurs. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her Facebook page, Kingdom Transformer Pearl Kupe
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