HEALT

CityPress - - T# -

Cham­bers says PTSD is com­mon given the vi­o­lent na­ture of South African life. Re­cently, Metro FM pre­sen­ter and DJ Moeti “Mo Flava” Tsiki shared an all too fa­mil­iar ex­pe­ri­ence of suf­fer­ing from de­pres­sion as a re­sult of be­ing robbed. Hi­jack­ings, smash-and-grab in­ci­dents, house rob­beries and mug­gings can all cause PTSD, and/or anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion. More con­cern­ing is the im­pact of in­ti­mate part­ner vi­o­lence on women’s men­tal health. South Africa’s in­ti­mate part­ner vi­o­lence statistics are ter­ri­fy­ingly high, and a re­cent pol­icy brief com­piled by Dr Kate Joyner from Stel­len­bosch Univer­sity, the Univer­sity of Cape Town’s Dr Kate Rees and Dr Si­mone Honikman for the Alan J Fisher Cen­tre for Pub­lic Men­tal Health high­lighted that “a woman died ev­ery eight hours in South Africa, and, of those mur­dered, 50% were killed by their in­ti­mate part­ners. The phys­i­cal, men­tal and so­cial con­se­quences re­main hid­den. Cul­tural and so­ci­etal norms are highly in­flu­en­tial in shap­ing be­hav­iour in in­ti­mate re­la­tion­ships; they can pro­tect against vi­o­lence or sup­port and en­cour­age it.” The re­port also noted that in­ti­mate part­ner vi­o­lence oc­curs in a so­cial con­text that in­volves a vi­cious cy­cle with HIV, men­tal ill­ness, poor re­pro­duc­tive health, poor child­hood devel­op­ment and chronic dis­ease, which women ex­pe­ri­ence acutely. It is the end­less and per­va­sive vi­o­lence against women that makes them more vul­ner­a­ble to de­pres­sion, which both Sadag and the WHO have noted. The 2014/2015 Vic­tims of Crime Sur­vey, re­leased re­cently by Stats SA, of­fers lit­tle con­so­la­tion, and shows an in­crease in vi­o­lence against women. It says 57% of women are as­saulted in their homes, 48.3% by some­one known to them; 40% of sex­ual as­saults oc­cur in the home; and 31% of are com­mit­ted by spouses or lovers. Sec­ondary trauma caused by in­ef­fec­tive or poorly re­sourced re­port­ing and polic­ing sys­tems of­ten com­pounds ex­ist­ing

PHOTO: LUCKY NX­U­MALO

I HAVE SEA­SONS Lil­lian Dube at the Mbokodo Women in the Arts Awards 2014 at the Theatre on the Track in Kyalami GUGULETHU MHLUNGU

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